Friday, June 20, 2008

MK Like A Telephone???? Hmmm....

Exploiter or Exploitee?? Carrying over from the last post it hit me that if you step back and look the Company is neither. How so?

I happen to love the telephone, it does alot of good. It can save a life by getting help right away, it keeps up intouch with family and friends, it helps in many ways. It has also contributed to stolen identities, stolen credit card information, or harrassing phone calls. These things don't make the telephone bad. The telephone is simply the tool a bad person can use to take advantage of others. It is the instrument that is used to perpetuate some crimes but that doesn't mean I don't want a phone. We all learn not to give out certain information over the phone to protect ourselves. Many have been victimized by telelphone scams but it is up to us to make sure that we protect ourselves from telephone abuse. Some learn the hard way, and others read and learn and don't make the mistake.

The Company isn't bad or good, if all followed the rules, there wouldn't be any problems. In theory, if everyone was honest and truly lived by the go give spirit and ethics and morales, this Company would be the perfect opportunity. The problem isn't the Company, it is the flawed people.

The same arguement can be used with many medicines, in the right dosage, they help people, they can save a life, but.....in the wrong doses, they could kill a person. I am sure many would not want a perscription taken off the market because some people have abused the drug if it were helping their health and well being.

Another point is a gun is it bad?? Nope, not until you put it in the hands of a human being, a gun by itself can not load itself nor can it shoot itself. I am not here to get into a debate on guns but a gun by itself has never hurt anyone, until the human factor enters into the picture.

So, there you have my two cents on the situation, my humble opinion Mary Kay is neither the exploiter or the exploitee - it is simply a Company. What someone does with their involvement in Mary Kay is on the individual, not the Company.

39 comments:

  1. MK4ME, very thought provoking post. Based upon all of the various posts I have read over the past couple of years, it appears (1) there were/are some MK directors who manipulated their recruits in order to benefit from it (2)there are those at the consultant level who fell prey to buying their way to the prizes and (3) there are former or potential customers that don't care for the product or for how a particular consultant approached them. And, based upon other posts, (1) there are directors who don't fronload and run their business ethically (2) there are consultants who like their director and haven't suffered due to their involvement and (3) there are people that love Mary Kay product (I found out one of my close friends has used it for years). So, just like any large business entity, you have "evil" (those who are manipulative and know it) managers, manipulated employees, employees who do things just to look good...and you have good managers, good employees...and you have some folks who hate your product and some customers that love your product. I can hear the argument coming that the difference is the MLM structure causes all of these problems....hmmm...any business can set up rules that managers or employees may break and cause problems for the rest. Is MLM easier to manipulate and thus it as a business model is so flawed that it should be banned? I have a hard time supporting a move to rid of the MLM structure since then the good people are punished for no reason whatsoever! There are always going to be those people that figure out a way to exploit the system...and again, the ease of obtaining credit in this day and age has contributed to this buying of excessive inventory. As I said in an earlier post, the blame should go on the credit card companies...and what do you know, they have deeper pockets then Mary Kay so let's go get 'em ! Wow, my credit card really exploited me last month - a new excuse to tell my husband every time a cardboard box shows up at the house....I'm certainly not accountable, am I?

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  2. O. 1

    I love it!!! Down with the credit card companies!!!

    It IS their fault that I spend more than I can afford!

    It is THEIR fault that I have these painful monthly payments for stuff that I really don't need or even want anymore!

    I am with you... let's start a class action against them - they have all of our money anyway!!!

    Seriously though, I don't know if I have said it yet, but I appreciate your perspective in many of the issues that you weigh in on. Your moniker is well chosen.

    thanks

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  3. One last thing...following their logic, I bet most PT'ers would have been supporting the
    Prohibition back in the day! Down with alcohol! Yep, I'm looking forward to being exploited tomorrow by a few glasses of Moscato wine - it's certainly not my decision to drink, oh no! (my sarcasm is flowing this evening...I'm tired....hope it's amusing...don't mean to be annoying).

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  4. O 1,

    It is amusing, not annoying - imbibe away my friend!

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  5. David - thank you. I feel this blog is morphing into more of a balanced view (as you intended
    ) of the whole picture. I would like to see a tab with resources listed to help people work through their issues, those who did get burned. I will try to put together some thoughts on that and maybe you would put it out here ...just trying to help. I know what it is like to be hurt and have to work through trust issues, etc. in the aftermath. Have a good night.

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  6. o. 1,

    thanks - That would be greatly appreciated. I don't think that I can create a TAB per se, but if you assemble a list with links and descriptions, I will put it in a post and place a link to it in a prominent place. This is DEFINITELY one of the visions that I had for this site early on and I think I even have a primitive version of this idea somewhere here on the site - you may want to look that up so you have a starting reference (or to avoid duplicative work)

    in case you don't know where to send it, you can always email me at balancedmarykay@gmail.com

    again, thanks - and enjoy your weekend!!!!!

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  7. objective1, I am not waiting to be exploited by alcohol until tomorrow, I am enjoying a nice glass of Manischewitz cream white concord as I type. (on ice) geez, I just have no class, cheap wine that I like on ice, hehehehe..

    As for the credit cards, I have seen some on that other site complaining now that the Company allows us to use credit cards! okay there is no winning, if the Company didn't allow us to use them, the complaint would be, it is our business, what right do the have to not allow us to use our cards if we want to. If they allow us to use them, they are promoting debt??!!?? hmmm

    Now if the Company didn't allow me to use my credit (or debit) card and made me pay to get a money order to mail to MK (we use to have to do this in the olden days) and add 2 - 3 days to turn around an order, I WOULD have a problem with that.

    and I second Dave's appreciation on your posts.

    And as most of us realize the Company is not all of anything, so why try to shut it down, why not work on fixing only what the issues are. One shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water, now should they??

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  8. Love the post MK4Me! And your insights... Keep it up ;)

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  9. Hey all, thank you for much for the comments on my articles, I am glad that they are enjoyed and I truly hope they help lots of folks.
    I may be "pro MK" but, I want to see the business done right and maybe we can help fix the things that are done wrong.

    Have a Great Weekend!

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  10. Telephones, guns, credit cards, alcohol and you might as well add in drugs to the mix.

    Without PEOPLE they are all harmless in and of themselves, but you have to admit, there are people who abuse them all - it's the world that we live in.

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  11. I have to say that I believe until MKC begins tracking sales to retail customers as "sales", not wholesale purchases, it is indeed a flawed company and a flawed opportunity. No one is credited for actual sales to customers, only with how much wholesale they purchase. This allows the "buying" of prizes and recognition, not for actually doing the work, but only for having a high credit limit and buying lots of wholesale.

    You may say, "But only the dishonest people would do that...buy a prize like that." All I'm saying is, this is one way MKC could stop the abuse. But they don't. There is no rule here than anyone is breaking, like objective1 was saying. This is how MKC runs it. Because if they tracked actual sales, it wouldn't be profitable. They make their money when IBCs buy from them, so they don't need to be concerned with ultimate sales.

    Real honesty would be if Corporate had a "Court of Wholesale" rather than a "Court of Sales". Just my 2 cents.

    And no, though I am a PTer, I have nothing against a nice, sweet cocktail every now and then. ;) Imbibe away.

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  12. speaking the real truthJune 24, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Black Nova, I have not problem with what you are saying, but the same situation would soon exist in that those who cheat, would also cheat under that system, AND since they did not have to put up any money, they would be more inclined to claim sales that they did not have. I think that the current system discourages cheating somewhat, because it does tie it to dollars ordered.

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  13. speaking the real truthJune 24, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    I'd love to hear from other retailers. Is it not common practice for a manufacturer to reward those who order a lot of wholesale product? They do not know if that product was sold, but most responsible business people do not order things that they do not need just to win something, no matter how good the manufacturers sales rep. is.

    Do you think that manufacturer should require proof that the product is being sold to a customer? Do you think that the manufacturer should limit what the retailer can order? OR do you think that the retailer should be expected to operate reasonably and with good business sense?

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  14. Black Nova, aka EnesvyJune 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Speaking the Real Truth, it isn't cheating to order wholesale simply to win a prize. There is no other qualification other than ordering a lot. Honestly, I'd have no problem with it if MKC didn't call it "sales." There is no sale if product is sitting on a shelf.

    Therefore, women who work their business hard to make actual sales may not be able to compete with women who can simply ring up their credit card. Actual selling is not rewarded, and I see that as a flaw.

    I think the women who are actually selling should be rewarded. I'd LOVE to see MKC do that. Those are the women who deserve rewarding. What they don't deserve is to sit exausted at meetings while others who simply purchased large amounts get lavished with prizes and praise.

    Even the Girl Scouts only reward actual, documented accomplishment.

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  15. black nova, I just have to say -- Hallelujah! Nobody could have said it any more beautifully than you have...

    " it isn't cheating to order wholesale simply to win a prize. There is no other qualification other than ordering a lot. Honestly, I'd have no problem with it if MKC didn't call it "sales." There is no sale if product is sitting on a shelf.

    ,,, Actual selling is not rewarded, and I see that as a flaw.

    ...I think the women who are actually selling should be rewarded. ... What they don't deserve is to sit exausted at meetings while others who simply purchased large amounts get lavished with prizes and praise."

    Wow. That should be engraved. This is why there are pro/anti MK sites.

    You deserve a (plastic) tiara, a rhodium plated dinner ring and [i]a vintage Satin Hands Pampering Set[/i] for all the shaking of hands and" waving hand through natural elements" you're going to be doing.

    Pardon the sarcasm. Your comment was worth signing up for a blog I'll never use!

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  16. speaking the real truthJune 24, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Black Nova, I understand and agree with you that actual selling should be rewarded, and it is within my group. But, my point is that there really isn't any way to avoid those who cheat from doing so when reporting sales. How could corporate track actual sales?

    I hate to someone lavished with praise for simply ordering a huge inventory, versus my gal who consistently sells week after week. The same goes for directors whose units have tons of product sitting on their shelves, versus my unit who is out there working.

    My point about ordering though is that it does make it a little harder to cheat, because you do have to put money behind it. Does that make sense?

    I also understand what you are saying about the Court of Sales, but for those of us who do things the right way, our ordering is reflective of our sales.

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  17. Actually, you are cheating, you are cheating yourself. When I EARN a prize, it is the personal satisfaction that I acheived the goal that is more important than the prize.

    If someone else wins a prize, I don't feel that I have been cheated. How they do what they do is their business. (I will coach and teach my unit members on not buying recognition) but if someone else is recognized for an acheivement, it doesn't take away from my ability. It doesn't take away my self worth because I know what I have done.

    If I do the work, I will continue to be awarded the prizes, but the biggest prize is the personal satisfaction of running a income producing business. (Fourteen straight years of star consultant status comes from selling the product -not from buying the prize.

    Those that choose to buy their prizes when they aren't selling aren't going to be around for very long.

    As for MK tracking retail sales, how would you suggest that be done. I am too busy to turn around and submit documentation to MK on all my sales to my clients and I shouldn't have to. It is my business, I don't need or want a "big brother" watching everything I do. I am not five anymore and don't need a babysitter. Also if someone will cheat one way what is to prevent them from doing bogus documentation on their sales. At least if they are going to have to pay for it. If they can buy their recognition when they are spending their own money, can you imagine what some would do if it isn't going to cost them anything.

    All of us need to worry more about our own business and less about others.

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  18. I worked retail for a lot of years, and NO manufacturer rewarded based on the sales to the final customer - they rewarded based on the amount that was ordered and shipped from their warehouse.

    It didn't matter if their product was still sitting on the shelves 6 months later - in their books, the product counted as "sales."

    The sales reps (from the manufacturer) had the wonderful job of convincing the retailer to order as much product as possible - and often gave incentives for doing so.

    Once again, MKC is being villanized for doing something that is a standard business practice.

    Is it so hard to believe that MKC is allowed to believe that someone wouldn't be foolish enough to order month after month if they are not selling?

    Why insist that MKC should babysit reps?

    JMHO

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  19. quote: "Once again, MKC is being villanized for doing something that is a standard business practice."

    yeahbut!!!!!

    A "real retailer" is incorporated. That means that when the business goes bankrupt for over extending itself, the owner (and by extension, family) doesn't lose their house, car, 401k, etc., etc., in the process. The business is lost. That's it.

    You can't compare apples and oranges. If you're going to compare keep it a level playing field.

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  20. mk4me quote: "If someone else wins a prize, I don't feel that I have been cheated."

    Me neither. But, if I'm selling and I know they paid for the prize, it leaves a real sour note in my mouth. Yes, they won't be around for long. But the way I see it, there are a lot more of "them" right behind them. Of course I would take the high road. But I admit it. The next time, I will work hard for me and my goal, not my "director's" goal.

    ;)

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  21. Not all some businesses are incorporated. Many small business operate as sole proprietors. They risks the same as an independent beauty consultant. Actually they risk a lot more because most small business don't offer a 90% buyback. If those business fail, they don't have an option, they are flat out whatever they can't sell at bottom basement prices.

    Sorry, but it isn't comparing apples to oranges.

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  22. Oh yeah, Shay, if you worked retail, then you would know that corporate reps pay you premium sales incentives to plug their product versus their competitors. Such as the case in an athletic store. My friend sold running shoes. She sold what paid the most dividend. Seriously, they attended morning 'training sessions' given by corporate reps. They provided info on the shoe attributes versus the competitor's, told them if they plugged their shoe instead of the competitor they'd bonus "X".

    Being a college student she went for the fattest carrot.

    Lesson to everybody: don't listen to your athletic shoe salesperson, hahaha!!

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  23. flybye64 " The next time, I will work hard for me and my goal, not my "director's" goal. "

    Good for you flybye64, I am sorry if you experienced a director that didn't have your best interests at heart. There are some, I won't deny it. But there are also many others that care, we just don't get talked about so much because our consultants are happy and don't have anything to complain about. I want to support my unit members acheive what they want out of the business, not what I want.
    If they keep trying to acheive anothers' goal for them, they will always come up short. They aren't working with their passion, and without that, there is no reason to have the desire to do it (at least not for very long)-before they get discouraged and quit.

    I want them excited and happy about what they are doing because then they will continue to do whatever it is they are doing.

    Hope this makes sense.

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  24. Only selling what gave her the highest commission also would have caused her to not have certain clients and probably cost her lots of sales.

    As an ex-runner, I ran in certain brands. And any serious runner isn't going to buy just any brand. Not to mention, if you are serious, most will replace these running shoes about every 3 months (it depends on how many miles you put on them) - I only ran 5K's but with my weekly workouts, etc... a pair of shoes would only last me abou6 months before they would start breaking down.

    If I went in to drop money on a pair of running shoes and they didn't carry what I wanted, I would quickly go somewhere else.

    And trust me, runners don't mind spending good money on good shoes. It soooo makes the difference in how well you do and how your body handles the running.

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  25. " Many small business operate as sole proprietor"

    As a small business entity, with the right accountant, can still shelter their personal interest from their business interest. In Mary Kay (and any other 'home party' business') the only legal document you sign is the one that protects the corporation you sell for. It's not the same thing. A home party business is NOT small business. You canNOT sell your business to anybody if you choose to leave. (Like a dentist would if he/she chose to retire.) If you resigned Mary Kay tomorrow, they OWN your business. Yet, you're liable for everything outstanding and they reap the rewards.

    Sorry, it's not the same thing.

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  26. There are trade offs, as far as them being able to protect themselves with tax shelters, etc... maybe but then they also have to develope their own advertising, make a name for themselves, pay for staff, if it is a product based business, do research and testing, they would have no way of getting back money on returned, used products, they would have to pay much more to be able to offer credit card services, most all have to pay a large rental fee and/or mortgage to house their business in.

    They also better be open and available for the convenience of others. Their name wouldn't be recognized. They wouldn't have a staff at Corporate available for them free of charge.

    So yes there are trade off's but all in all, if one operates their MK like a business and uses common sense - this can be a great opportunity. If someone has tried to make it work and just ends up pouring in more and more money, it is time to be smart and get out -
    Not everyone is ever going to be successful at everything. MK will work for someone and it won't for others, in the words of Kenny Rogers... you gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold 'em...
    know when to walk away, know when to run.... if you have truly tried and you just can't sell the product, get the bookings, etc... it is time to run and find something else you are good at.

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  27. Black Nova, aka EnesvyJune 25, 2008 at 8:19 AM

    I will readily say that there are ethical directors out there like mk4me and I applaud you for rewarding actual sales in your unit. That's great. :)

    But I do blame MKC for creating a system that rewards the creation of debt. MKC is not some pathetic little company that needs it's IBCs to defend it. It's a powerful, money-making business enterprise. They know where their money comes from--wholesale orders. The environment they've created encourages women to go into debt (by being told to bee-lieve in themselves that they can do it!) and then be embarassed when they find they're not skilled at sales. All MKC wants is for them not to send product back and keep ordering more.

    MKC doesn't need you to defend it. Their track record is pretty clear. Ultimate sales to customers and the success of their independent sales force is only important to them insofar as large initial orders are placed and women keep ordering.

    Please know, I'm not trying to change your mind--your experience has been a good one for you. But I simply can't support a business model (this goes for all MLMs) in which only 2% can actually acheive the monetary rewards that are dangled in front of every potential recruit's face. You'd be better of buying a lottery ticket or just treating MK like a hobby.

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  28. Black Nova and Flybye,

    Hi and welcome! (BN, I know you have been here for a while, and flybye, I understand we have heard from you before! Thanks for taking the time to identify yourself)

    I am very appreciative of the two of you coming here and sharing your perspectives.

    One of the purposes of this site is to answer the kinds of questions that you are asking and respond to concerns and rational objections with rational thoughts. You are both helping us with that and I say, "Thank You".

    That said, I hope to create a post that summarizes some of the things that have been being discussed here, but I wanted to take a quick second to address one thing that just caught my eye in Black Nova's comment.

    You said, "They know where their money comes from--wholesale orders."

    I want to ask you a question about that. Just think about it from MKC's perspective for a second. You are right of course, like most manufacturers (in fact, ALL manufacturers that don't distribute themselves) their money comes from the purchases that their distributors make. Not retail purchases.

    But if YOU were in MKC's position and had product to distribute and you only made money when your distributors (consultants) bought your product, which would be the better outcome?

    A sales force that orders, sells and then orders again?

    OR

    A "sales force" that orders, orders, orders, and then returns a whole years worth of products?

    Which one do you think this "powerful, money-making business enterprise" would embrace?

    Please take a minute to really think about that before you answer.

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  29. Hi, David :)

    Black Nova here. :) First off, let me say that I'm a huge fan of capitalism. :) I don't want anyone to think that I'm against making money or having one's own business. I think it's great.

    As to your question, if I were a wholesaler, I would want to empower those who sold my product so that demand for it would be created and maintained. I would make sure they were using every tool at their disposal (retail space, yellow pages, newspaper ads, mall carts) just like the other companies do. I would advertise my own product so that my retailers customers would know about it (Loreal, Clinque, etc.). Where are MK glossy ads in magazines? Where are the television commercials during prime time? I am flabbergasted that MK doesn't do this. They should be a HUGE presence in advertising, or at the very least, allow their IBCs to advertise.

    The only real advertising they do is to us, the IBCs, because I believe we are the only cash cow they care about. As for the repurchase program, I have nothing to base this on but I doubt they get very much product returned compared to what's not returned. Plus they lose nothing, as they keep 10% and snatch back any commissions they paid out. Their status quo is good business for them, just not a very cordial or helpful way to treat their sales force. I think that's why they have no incentive to change. It would cost them to advertise to the end customer and they don't want to pay.

    Just my thoughts.

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  30. Hi Enesvy,

    Thanks for your response, but I think perhaps you misunderstood my question.

    I understand that you (and can plainly see that many people on PT agree with you) would prefer that Mary Kay spend more money on "traditional" methods of distribution and advertising.

    That is not what is under discussion here. That becomes an entirely different discussion with the end game being that all MK reps are put out of business. MK reps ARE the shelf space. MK reps ARE the advertising force (via word of mouth, etc.) The 50% and subsequent commissions of 4%, 7%, 13% "take the place of" all the traditional methods of reaching end consumers that you mentioned.

    All that to say, I am not asking if you think that Mary Kay's model is better than a traditional model or a traditional model is better than Mary Kay's. (ironically, the person to person sales is probably more "traditional" but that is neither here nor there and now I am digressing.) The point is, agree or disagree, that is the model they have chosen.

    So, within that framework, and regarding your statement that MKC is not interested in the success of their consultants, I ask again; which makes more sense?

    MKC wants their consultants to succeed.

    OR

    MKC just wants orders leading to the logical outcome of burning (or as pt'ers say 'churning') through reps and constantly needing to find new ones.

    Whether the company "has a heart" or not doesn't even enter into this equation. It would be completely illogical for them to INTENTIONALLY set up a system that ENCOURAGED that kind of behavior.

    If you look at both "positions" long enough, a truly successful consultant is MUCH more profitable to them than a consultant that just orders to earn prizes. (EVEN IF the second consultant never returns any product.)

    As I said, I will be trying to tie this together in a post in the near future. Also, I am not singling you out, I really want everyone reading this to think about the "it's not personal, it's just business" side of this.

    MKC is NOT your credit card company (in most cases anyway) they are not earning residuals on your debt!! They make money when more people become customers - and they will reward you for helping them FIND those customers. If they reward you for PRETENDING to find customers (at your personal expense) NO ONE wins!

    more later.

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  31. [quoting David]MKC wants their consultants to succeed.

    OR

    MKC just wants orders leading to the logical outcome of burning (or as pt'ers say 'churning') through reps and constantly needing to find new ones.[/quoting David]

    I should think they would want their consultants to succeed. But for some reason, churning and burning is more profitable, because that is exactly what happens. Sales is a unique skill. Just like not everyone can be a football player, very few people have the gift of being a sales person. MK will recruit any and everyone, I believe, in the hopes of an initial order which is not returned. Besides, MKC doesn't have to find the new customers, the IBCs and Directors do. It's no skin off of MKC's nose how many IBCs come and go as long as more are brought in.

    We may just have to agree to disagree, dear David. :) I totally appreciate the fact that you've had a positive experience.

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  32. enesvy,

    Agreeing to disagree is something that is done in regards to matters of opinion - for example, whether distributing via directs sales is better than via deals with wal-mart, target, etc teamed with advertising.

    I might say direct sales is king and you say put it in wal-mart and do a national advertising campaign. In that case we could agree to disagree.

    However, in reference to this question, we agree. We both think (or believe) that MKC "...would want their consultants to succeed."

    But then there is the part we disagree on - and we can't agree to disagree, because you are attempting to establish a fact with nothing solid to base it on.

    You want to conclude that,

    "...for some reason, churning and burning is more profitable"

    but the only reasoning/evidence you provide is,

    "...because that is exactly what happens."

    IF I were to apply the same logic in an argument with you about this (but supporting MY view) it would sound exactly the same.

    "...for some reason, developing successful consultants is more profitable"

    (and back it up with)

    "...because that is exactly what happens."

    One of the things I am most passionate about maintaining on this site is that ONE individuals story does not comprise evidence for THAT experience being "exactly what happens".

    If you look at the design and intent of Mary Kay Corporate based on the literature that they release, that they provide and see ANY indication that they are hoping for people to come in with large orders and then fail miserably and miraculously "opt-out" of the product return, please present it to us here.

    Otherwise, your claim that "churn and burn" is mysteriously the more profitable model, is unfounded speculation.

    The reason I asked the question, "which do you think would be better for MKC" is that based on the fact that the logical thing to do is also the most likely thing to do, there would have to be pretty compelling evidence that the illogical thing to do would benefit them in some way.

    To put it in another way, if you told me that someone was stealing your trash I would ask a similar question. "Why would he steal your trash?" If you said, "I don't know, but obviously he is", I would ask how you know he is stealing your trash.

    If your response was, "Every week, I put my trash on the street before I go to work and when I come home it is gone", I would ask you if it was possible that the trash collector may be responsible.

    I am not saying here that Mary Kay is exempt from having women manipulated in the way that is suggested. But I am saying that you can't claim that they are following an insane business model (such as churn and burn) just because some people were churned and burned.

    The other day I bought a hands-free cell phone device from Best Buy. It was awful. It was uncomfortable, had poor sound quality, and was just generally NOT what I paid for. I did not assume though that Best Buy's business model was to sell cheap crap in hopes that I would not think to return it. I did not assume that the manufacturer of that device had devised a scheme to sucker the great American public into suffering from their cheap headset and pay them for the privilege. I just returned the stupid thing and got one that I liked better.

    I don't disagree that you and many others had a bad experience with Mary Kay.

    I don't disagree that some people in Mary Kay manipulatively misrepresent Mary Kay by saying things like, "executive income for part time hours".

    I don't disagree that some people are just not cut out for sales. Or running a business.

    But I can't agree to disagree to something like, MKC 'secretly' PLANS on ruining peoples lives because it is somehow mysteriously more profitable for them than the alternative.

    That just doesn't make any sense.

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  33. speaking the real truthJune 25, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    mk4me and I have both asked the following and it has gone unanswered:

    How would you propose that Mary Kay Corporate track sales?

    On to your comments regarding debt. We live in a society that encourages debt. Anyone who offers to sell you something is basically encouraging debt if you do not have the cash readily available, right? How can you blame MKC for purchases any more than you blame any supplier who offers incentives for wholesale orders? Debt is a personal choice, America needs to realize that. There are times that debt can be a smart move, continuing to absorb debt, never a wise move.

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  34. Disallusioned with MKJune 25, 2008 at 5:59 PM

    I think it would be a good idea for MKC to track sales. Or stop giving awards for sales when nothing is sold yet. I got this huge todo when I ordered my initial order. The product hadn't even come in the mail yet and my director gave me a crown, a bracelet, and a bunch of other dress up jewelery. And I got applauded for SALES. I was stunned. I actually corrected her and told her that was not what I sold, that was the amount of my wholesale order, doubled. And some of that stuff was what she ordered for me personally since she told me I couldn't continue to use my non MK stuff. She laughed nervously and said, "But I know you will sell it!" How did she know? I did not have any bookings in my date book. I didn't have any prospects. I had no idea how to get a booking, either. That was not taught in my unit. But how to keep a crown on your head while applauding and dancing, that we were taught!

    So I have to agree that either sales should be tracked or start giving awards for ordering, not selling. It's misleading to those who are new IBCs and for guests. How should they be tracked? I have not idea. But I would think that a huge corporation like MKC could figure it out.

    I like the idea that you can get free product when you order alot, that is good, it's a reward for ordering. But call it what it is. A reward for ordering. Why would MKC care if you sold it? They know that some directors depend on frontloading. They know that the turn over is huge. They know some other poor woman will get reeled in and a desperate director will sell her on the dream and she'll order big and on and on it goes.

    Would it be too much to ask for them to at least monitor the directors? These are the leaders in their company. The face of their company. Why don't they have a better idea of what these women are doing? If they did that, my director would not have been around to frontload me.

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  35. The directors that I am associated with as well as myself do recognition from the weekly accomplishment sheets on the amount of product that the consultants SELLS. Period. And ..if they have given a discount, only what the sold the product for counts. Not what the retail value of the product is and not with tax. The Queen of Sales is the consultant that sells the most product for the highest dollar amount. I don't know why anyone would be called the queen of sales simply for placing an initial start up order.

    Now the Star Consultant Program is based on orders placed with Mary Kay, and the Company awards the prizes for that. Many new consultants I am sure will win this if they start with a big inventory even though they haven't sold anything yet, but it will be just the one time - after that you better be selling and replacing your inventory to continue to sell. So maybe once, you could "buy" star status but after that one better be earning it their star or the are going to end up with too much product and too much debt and then quit.

    And I sell alot, I don't have the time and I don't feel I should ever have to report what I sell to Corporate. If I want product, I will order it, if I don't need it, I won't order it.

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  36. Thanks for your responses, all! I don't have time to fully respond, especially to a carefully thought out post like David's. I will say that I don't have hard, cold numbers on the amount of churn and consultant turnover that happens, but it is a lot.

    David, I don't have the rhetoric skills to go one-on-one with you in a debate (and I'm a student of philosophy, so I totally get your post!).

    My issue is more human. I see MKC as a bus. They built the bus, they maintain the bus, they even provide drivers. People board the bus believing it to be safe and trusting those who introduce them to it and convince them to get on. Naive? Yes. But I can't fault anyone for not being a complete cynic and believing what somone with supposed experience in riding and/or driving that bus has to say. So when that bus is in an accident because it's not well-built, it has flaws, people riding it get hurt. My point of view is that MKC should be doing everything it can to ensure that their IBCs aren't hurt by their business model.

    I love that mk4me only rewards on sales. I think that's wonderful. If there were more like her, there would be fewer horror stories to report on sites like PT. One horror story like that is one too many. If the world were full of hard cynics, there would be no one to recruit. Instead it's full of warm-hearted, trusting people. MKC should care enough to rein in the women who abuse that trust.

    As for how to track sales, I freely admit that I don't know how that can be accomplished. I'm not a business major. MK is a hugely profitable and powerful company--I find it unrealistic to imagine that they can't come up with a way to do it. But again, it isn't profitable for them to track sales.

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  37. enesvy,

    thank you for the kind words (cool icon by the way). Although I am not technically a student of philosophy, I guess I think a bit like a philosopher, so...

    I hate to admit, that all the thoughts thus far have been more knee-jerk reactions jotted down while I was at work... the 'well thought out post' will be forthcoming, hopefully within the next hour. And by 'well thought out' I mean that it is longer, not neccessarily better!

    Anyway, your contention about the responsibilities of the people inviting others on the bus is certainly what this debate comes down to and agreeing to the definitions will be pivotal.

    Unfortunately, we are all coming from considerably blind positions.

    We can speculate all we want about what (if anything) Mary Kay does to prevent misinformation from being disseminated, and the other players will vary from being MORE ethical than mk4me to LESS ethical than the worst horror story director you have ever heard of.

    All too often, people reference THEIR director as being evidence that ALL directors are (either pure evil or pure gold)

    I hope that you will bear with me as I finish the post I am working on and we can come to some conclusion about Mary Kay's culpability and by extension that of its consultants and directors.

    It WILL be interesting if everyone is willing to exchange thoughts and openly consider other people's positions!

    Again thanks.

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  38. Ok, thank you all for your patience, please see my more thorough thoughts and inquiry here

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