Thursday, October 3, 2013

My views on Mary Kay

First, I would like to start this all off by saying that I sold Mary Kay for a year and a half and then again a few years after that for about five months. No, I do not sell it now. I do not hate the company or in any way mean to make this a "bashing" post. I just wanted to write my honest opinion and a review about the company for anyone out there who is considering selling it.

 I'm sure that most of you (especially if you are from the south) have heard about, sold, knows someone who sold, thought about selling, hates, loves, has tried, swears by it, swears against it or just in general has an opinion on Mary Kay and maybe you have some questions. I plan on being honest and completely direct here. When I first started thinking about selling it I remember looking online for any type of information or experiences and finding that the internet was split in half. One side desperately hated it, and the other desperately loved it which really didn't answer any questions.So, without further are my qualms, suggestions, and questions all answered.

I got into it because a friend of mine sold it and when I attended her party I fell in love with the idea of throwing parties and having girl time and of course making money. Her director was a very fast talker and I do mean slick...I am 100% confident she could sell a snowball to an eskimo. I would put money on that. I remember thinking that she looked so happy and so excited and I wanted that plus you couldn't beat the discount on the product.

I will give them this: they have awesome products. My mother and I both swear by their miracle set and I would probably still use it as my exclusive face cleaning/moisturizing routine if it wasn't that I've had to start using Proactiv. I honestly think the makeup is way over-priced and so is most of the body care (excluding the hand scrub which I LOVE) but the face care is awesome. I also love the roll-up bag, I still use mine to this day and it's still holding together.

So I joined up and received many hugs, cheers of congratulations, and smiles. You would have thought I had said I was donating all of my money to the homeless with how happy they were for me. They had ordered the kit and sent me on my merry little way with the promises of things like this:

1. We're not a pyramid scheme
Well...yea you sort of are. They actually call it a multi-level organization but the fact is that the top lady is making a percentage (though not directly from YOUR sales) of every sale you make (if you signed up under her)and she'll also make money from anyone you get to sign up under you and so on and so on. If you draw  that out to an illustration it looks an awful lot like a pyramid, but hey call it what you want, I don't care.

2. There are NO minimum orders
Except your first one, which has to be a a minimum of $200.00 wholesale ($400.00 retail) ( that was the amount when I was selling) or you don't get the 50% off discount. So yes there is a minimum if you want the 50% off discount that allows you to make money off their products. That $200.00 minimum needs to be met EVERY three month or you do not get the discount and you are also considered inactive, which is kind of ridiculous when you have already paid $100.00 to join.

3. You do not have to have inventory to start up
I will be the first to say that you will sell more and make more money if you have the product right there for the customer to buy. The problem is that most people don't have the kind of cash to dole out $1,000.00 or more for something they aren't even sure will sell. I did not invest in inventory and was "urged" repeatedly to do so. When I again refused I was told that maybe I could ask a rich relative for a loan or....and I kid you not....take out a loan with the bank.That really put me off. Someone is just starting out in a business to make some extra money ( because obviously they need it or want it) and your suggestion is to get them to borrow money and put themselves in debt?!?! Gag. Please don't fall for this one.

4. ______ made $1,200.00 in sales last weekend at one party!!!!
Yes, but what they don't tell you is that ______ invested in about $5,000 in product for inventory and even with that $1,200.00 she still hasn't made her money back yet. I am a firm believer that you have to spend money to make the money in this business, sorry but that is how I feel. The ones who are truly making the money are the ones with LOTS of women under them getting that percentage.

5. We don't like pushy people
Yes, yes they do. I was told that and when I went out with my friend to make some sales on the go I was asked and encouraged to go up to " at least" five women to get their number and offer them a free facial. When I only got two because the whole thing was WAY out of my comfort zone I was pushed again, and again, and again until " my challenge" was complete. They like that word: challenge. You'll hear it a lot.
My director challenged me to give twenty women facials
I challenged myself to have a $200.00 party
We were challenged to do fifty faces in fifty days. 
You could make a drinking game with that word at one of their meetings and you would be TOASTED my friend.

They will ask you to go up to strangers, call strangers (minimum of five times before you move on to the next person), go to stranger's homes, invite strangers to your home, push the sale, and of course push the pitch. In my experiences they are all pushy. Sorry. I quickly learned that it wasn't for me and in my first year I had lost money at the end of tax time. I just realized that it wasn't the way to make money, at least not for me.

 I honestly did do my best, I offered the giveaways, free facials, pedicure parties and raffles. I gave away my fair share of free stuff, wasted the gas driving, wasted money buying supplies, buying food, buying samples and throughout it all I lost money. People want to try it, people like ANYTHING free, and people want to have a fun time with their friends, but honestly most are not going to buy. I had a schedule booked,  and I really mean booked ( usually 18 parties a month) plus orders from family members and friends. I worked my butt off and didn't see the money coming in. It was then that I threw in the pink towel.

Hubby and I moved, got married, lost all contact with anyone from the Mary Kay world and a few years went by. I was away from my friends, bored at work, and bored at home when I brought up the idea of selling again. Hubby wasn't thrilled ( read the previous paragraph about that losing money thing) but I told him this: I wasn't going in it to "make money" and I wasn't going to waste all that money on gimmicky giveaways. I strictly wanted to get the discount, sell to family or whoever else that wanted it and have some girl time. That's what I missed the most. The weekly meetings, encouragement and fun.

They're good about making you feel special (as long as you keep that active status up of course). I loved being around positive women who knew how to have fun and uplift one another, I really missed being around that, heck I still do. I'm a big time Type-A person and so needing to have things cataloged, scheduled and organized was just right up my alley. So I contacted my friend who I sold with before and I joined up again. She of course was thrilled and said it was funny because she had just been ready to write me a note asking how I was (yeah..ok). So I joined up and she found a director down here where we had moved who "adopted" me and invited me to their meeting.

I was excited and went with eagerness. I met all the ladies and told them that I was just in it for fun, nothing serious and I didn't even care if I made money or not. They all said words of encouragement and I was on my way. Then I visited again the following week and was ushered into being the one that collected money..ok, not a problem. I didn't mind helping out. Then I was soon pushed into signing up to bring food, bringing guests, teaching the guests about our hand scrub,the girl solely in charge of collecting and hassling people about their due money, and I was even pushed into giving a lecture about blush ( which I am no "expert" on and was NOT comfortable doing this) and yet I did it all with a smile on my face.

I thought it would end and that maybe they just needed my help, but no that was not the case. I also started getting the fourth degree about selling more, getting inventory, and I began having to explain why I wasn't doing as many parties or trying to make money, I found myself explaining over and over again that I was in this for me and fun time, and then I soon realized I wasn't having fun. I felt used and that I was just another notch on the list to help them make money, and so it was yet again time to throw in the pink towel.

I found out I was pregnant and life went on like normal, then it was about six months or so after I had quit (went inactive) and (after not having heard from my friend at all in that time) I got a message from her out of the blue asking how I was. I informed her that I was excited with the news that I was pregnant and I asked how she was. The very next email she asked me to sign up again because " I'm only two people away from a red jacket!!!!" My reply: " No thank you". I told Hubby how irritated I was that my once good friend would only care about asking how I was so she could have an opening for her own agenda.

Many moons passed...Munchkin was born, and around her third month on this earth I received yet again an  email from my "friend".  It asked how I was, that she had been thinking of me and how cute the baby was, and I did not reply. The very next email ( despite my not replying) said " Hey..I don't know if you're interested but right now you can join back up for only $25.00 since you've sold before and I only need one more person on my team!!"

That was the day I un-friended her.

I'm just a very straightforward, honest person and I don't like it when people are mislead and sometimes even blatantly lied to. I don't like it when people only care about you for what you can do for them. I'm sure there are nice, genuine, caring Mary Kay ladies out there but in my experience with three different counties and two different areas...they were all the same. Like I said, Mary Kay has some AWESOME products, and for the most part it is really fun. I think the possibility to make money with them is there, but you are going to have to put A LOT of your money in and you are going to have to get a lot of girls to sign up under you if you don't want to keep having to waste a ton of money on parties that you will ( in all likelihood) lose money on ( gas, wasting products, party supplies, etc...).

Alright, well sorry it's so long but there it is. I don't hate the company, I think that they have great products and are one of the VERY BEST companies out there when it comes to donating money for women's shelters and causes. I just think that a lot of the ladies out there don't mind telling only half the truth if it means getting another girl under their belt and earning their bonuses and I don't like that. I think if it's something you are considering doing then you should have every question answered honestly, openly, and then allowed to decide for yourself if it's right for you. If you're not honest with someone in the beginning how can they trust you to lead them to a better future?

Anyways, I hope I didn't offend anyone and like I said, I'm sure there are some sweet, easy going, caring Mary Kay ladies out there, and really hope you scold and discourage all the pushy ones because trust me...they outnumber you. I just wanted to give some answers to those who have questions.

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