Friday, October 24, 2008

Pink Truth: A case against Personal Use "Consultants"

A Pink Truth reader (keep in mind "allegedly" applies to everything we say about Pink Truth as we have well established the fact that they are less than truthful) submitted her experience as a personal use consultant.

Have a peep.

Pink Truth Reader: I should have stuck with "just say no"

I will start things off here.

First of all, she states:

"This year, though, I really thought about how much that "$200" order cost me. It was nice to buy all my skincare and makeup for the year (at half price!) and be done with it. What got left out of the "personal use" spin when I signed up was I had to pay 15% on my $200 order since sales tax is 7.5% and of course sales tax is charged on retail, not wholesale. Then, it was $8 for shipping. My personal use order is now closer to $250, and it was always a struggle to come up with $200 of wholesale products for myself."

This is kind of like when I go into Burger King to get their wonderful $.99 Double Cheeseburger (the healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner of champion bloggers) and get all peeved at the couple extra pennies they tack on for tax. 7.5% of $400 is $30. That comes to you courtesy of Uncle Sam... not Mary Kay. That brings your total to... (any math majors out there?) $230. Add that horrific $8 shipping fee and your "totally bogus" total is a whopping (not a whopper, mind you) $238. To call that "closer to $250" is a bit of a stretch... sort of like saying "I'm in my first year of Mary Kay" instead of "This is my first class ever"! But, let's call it $250. So, instead of paying 50%, you are actually paying 62.5%. Call the cops, you are being robbed.

Now, from what I observe, there are two problems that occurred here. First, she didn't know how to say no. When I am approached about something I don't want to do... let's say... I don't know, um.... hanging out with "that" friend. When "that" friend calls, I ignore the call. If I somehow get cornered by "that" friend I make polite conversation only as long as is necessary to not be a complete dashboard and then excuse myself from the conversation. How she found herself in a position she didn't want to be in is as puzzling to me as my friend (a guy) that always ends up doing whatever his girlfriend wants because he's too much of a zipper to say no. Keep in mind that with her discount I am still not really sure what made her unhappy with this scenario... oh yeah, the whole "can't say no" thing probably.

Anyway, what are your thoughts about all of this?

It seems that personal use consultants are more trouble than they are worth. "Can't sell the product for full price so we'll talk people into getting it at half price" seems profoundly counterproductive to the goal of creating the impression of a prestige brand!

I mean, if the product itself is good and what makes it great is the customer service, what good could it possibly serve to be creating an army of personal use - or worse, greedy, clueless opportunists - that will only serve to generate enough dissatisfied customers to make it profitable for Tracy Coenen to stir the pot every day?

What do you think about personal use consultants? What do you think about anyone that thinks they can - and tries to - lead people that are merely happy customer along a path that will lead to them being an all star via "personal use" Ave.?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated in the comment section.

**Side Note**

As you may (or may not) have noticed, even though this section is call "Today On Pink Truth, It does not necessarily represent the post that they posted "today". I wanted to point that out now, and also announce that this feature will not appear over the weekend, so that when Monday rolls around and the "Today On Pink Truth" feature is "so last week", no one feels the need to complain.



  1. Personal use? Well I think that if it's to be a deal, it has to be sort of a "self, family and close friends" thing so that you can get the $200 for the 50% discount without ordering things you, yourself do not need or want. Also, those select few other people would have to chip in for added costs such as shipping; if the p.u. consultant bears that cost alone, that's not so hot.

    Provided you have a little group ordering together, and provided that your skin is ok with their products, then I think it would be all right.

  2. Yet once again, the whininess is soooo annoying! This woman spent $238 for the entire YEAR on her skin, makeup and body care, and complains about????
    How much in gas would she have paid going back and forth to the drug store? (I'm saying drug store because you couldn't get a year's worth of mascara at a department store for $238).
    Stop the complaining already! You got a YEAR's worth of product for $238! It lasted longer than a year for God's sake.

    To answer your question, I think it's wise MK doesn't purposefully market the "opportunity" that way. I think in the long run it would just hurt real consultant's business. In fact, when in the past I suggested it to some of my higher-volume customers, they flat out told me they didn't want to hurt my business and would miss my service, which basically proved to me that there IS value in providing good customer service, and that there IS such a thing as brand loyalty. In this case, not the brand loyalty to MK, but to me a lowly consultant.

    Just an FYI here, Arbonne, Monavie, and many others market their businesses by promoting the discounts. Of course, none are as high as the 50%Mary Kay offers, and there are too many levels there -- at least our 50% is actually wholesale, and not layered.

  3. Just to jump in here, $238 worth of skin care and make-up is actually $476 retail worth of stuff.

    If we were to go out and buy nearly $500 worth of make-up and skin care, that's a lot! And I'd like to say that none of us would buy it all at once. It's usually cumulative spending. You're not allowed to do that in Mary Kay. In order to qualify for the 50% you have to meet the $200 w/s minimum.

    $200 w/s for you, your mom and auntie, etc., together, is fine and doable. But $200 w/s alone is too much.

    Getting back to a previous discussion, I wouldn't automatically buy spa stuff and skin care as gifts for friends and family simply because everybody has one issue or another with stuff slathered on their person. If they don't, then they don't like the fragrance, etc. At least that's been my experience.

    It's so much easier to just buy what you need, when you need it because there is so many new things coming out all the time. I would hate to have $300 sitting in my linen closet waiting to be cracked BEFORE (emphasis) I could entertain trying something new on the market and finding out I liked it better.

    I do a lot of on-line shopping. That's convenient, but the way the shopping districts are set up these days, getting groceries, prescriptions, and personal hygiene and skin care, etc., can be done within close proximity of each other.

  4. As with anything, there are pros and cons. For the most part, I found it is not worth it to recruit people that really have no interst at trying to do even hobby level MK.

    Most puc don't take the time to stay educated on the new products and end up going from an excellent client to a not so great puc and then to not even using MK.

    As for not being able to order $200 every six months, well I personally did that when I wasn't a consultant. And the majority of my clients would be able to do at least one $200 wholesale a year and not have any left over product. It is simply buying in bulk and saving alot of money.

    I am sure many a puc has decided to join because they want MK but can't afford it at retail. So joinging and geting almost 50% off is a great deal for them.

    You can not build a unit on personal use consultants but I have some wonderful puc's and they love being able to do it as small as they want and save money.

    Complaining about tax is silly, you will be charged tax in any store. And only $8 for shipping?? all most anything you order charges you shipping.

    I guess if you want to find something to complain about you will.

    If you don't want to join, just don't, it is as simple as that.


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
If this is your first visit please leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you!
If you want to email me:
But you are probably better emailing mk4me: