Franchise Pick reader Laura has a lot to say about whether or not the Mary Kay cosmetics sales organization is a “Cult of Greed” as some have alleged. She contends that there is a “dark side” to the Mary Kay organization, and a dirty little secret not shared with the outside world. Here are her comments:
…I believe there are very good women in Mary Kay who are enjoying selling the product and NOT scamming women. There are those who can glorify God by being honest about what to expect about the opportunity. Friendships can surely enrich women’s lives. In Mary Kay, as well as other MLM’s, their “training coaches” teach “positivity” and those teachings can also elevate one’s self-esteem thus enriching their lives.
HOWEVER, and that’s a BIG HOWEVER, there IS the dark side of Mary Kay. I have seen it first hand. Manipulation, both emotional and financial; deceit in the form of pressuring to purchase unnecessary inventory before the consultant is given her alotted time to make that decision; withholding common known facts such as retention rates which would give the consultant a better picture of the possibility of success (or effort required) before taking a plunge to directorship and on and on – the list is long.
In the last 4 years, I have read hundreds of similar stories whereby the stress involved in perpetual recruiting, telling half-truths, being suppressed to tell the truth crushes the spirit. Not only are their spirit and enthusiasm diminished, the stress takes it’s toll physically. As a former director myself, I can attest to the stress involved in worrying about production (if we will make it this month or not….seemingly watching the month tick away. I’ve seen women pray to God for their next “Emerald Star” ( a recruit who will come in with a $3600 inventory) and use God and scripture to manipulate women into purchases, going on trips they really couldn’t afford, staying with MK even though they don’t want to (God brought you here, he’ll see you thru it type responses) and on and on…THAT is not enriching a woman’s life.
Many a consultant are driven away by abusive members. I’ve also witnessed good people become caught up in the recognition and praise aspect of the MLM and make poor choices about finances and family in pursuit of materialism (mansions, cars, jewelry, money).
MLM’s are very scary. Scary because they preach about God, yet pursue materialism. God said you cannot worship two Gods. Someone is going to lose.
In response to another commenters assertion that there are no consultant-to-consultant sales within Mary Kay, Laura writes:
Regarding your comment about “no sales from consultant to consultant,” not legally, no, but it does happen and very often. In fact, there are plenty of sales from consultant to consultant and even more from director to consultant which, as most of us know, crosses the pyramid line where an MLM is concerned. The company strongly discourages sales from within, but many in the salesforce ignore those requests and actually encourage consultants to lie to the company about whose money was used to purchase inventory.
Desperate recruiters and directors who NEED production to sustain their unit or achieve another level oftentimes “sell” inventory to their consultants/recruits by using their own credit cards requiring consultants to “pay them back” and that is totally against company policy. Others simply use the consultant ID to order product (for production) but keep it for themselves.
Many a happy consultant are convinced that these dark practices only involve a minority in Mary Kay, but I am convinced otherwise.
DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH MARY KAY COSMETICS OR SIMILAR OPPORTUNITIES? LEAVE A COMMENT AND SHARE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
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