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Old 04-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #16
brunette8706
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Selling Mary Kay was a scam in my humble opinion. They wanted me to travel 35 miles ONE way for training once a week. No thanks. They hated pants suits (dressy career pants suits mind you) they wanted me in a dress! NO THANKS!!!

Read this:

http://www.pinktruth.com/
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #17
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Thanks for all of the stories and advice!! I knew I could get a true opinion coming here to the DIS!!! You guys are awesome!

Well no, I am not going to give it a try. I love their products but that's as far as I am going. It just sounded too good to be true, and is the case here, it is.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:21 PM   #18
ladylyons
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I sell Mary Kay. I don't have anyone under me (unless you count my sister who makes about $100 a month in sales and only places an order once a year, which I'm fine with) and I make about $750 a month (we don't get W-2's since we are not considered employees). It's our Disney/Vacation fund. I don't push it to my family and friends unless they are already buying from me. I told everyone at the beginning (2 years ago), had a party (which a lot of people came to), and now I just talk to people I meet. If I happen to be in the beauty aisle I'll ask if they've tried MK. If not I offer to host a demonstration for them. If they say no I'm good and move on. If they say yes then I book them right then and there. I am not a very outspoken person. Mary Kay helped me out of my shell. I now have a great reorder business and am able to continue to stay home with my children and have us go on vacation. My husband makes a decent salary but we are trying to save for our future and our children's college also. We gave up a lot for me to stay home and I really missed our vacations so I found something that worked for me. I don't drive the car but I feel like I'm still successful in what I do. It give's me my adult time which you don't get very much of by staying home with a 6 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old!! You'll know if it's right for you. It was right for me at the time and I'm glad I did it. I also know if I want to step it I can (I earned a trip to Disneyland last year by stepping up and making a few more sales that I normally do). Good luck with whatever your decision is.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladylyons View Post
I told everyone at the beginning (2 years ago), had a party (which a lot of people came to), and now I just talk to people I meet. If I happen to be in the beauty aisle I'll ask if they've tried MK. If not I offer to host a demonstration for them. If they say no I'm good and move on. If they say yes then I book them right then and there. .
See to me, that's the definition of someone who is going to do well in a direct sales position. The idea of going up to someone at the grocery store to try to sell them anything makes me want to throw up. Which is why only I make around $150 a month and you make enough to go to DLR!

My directors and team leaders are really honest--you HAVE to be willing to put in constant selling to do really well at this. That means calling people every day, talking to everyone you run into in the constant hope of getting a sale or recruit. That's not me, and a system like MK would never work for me as a result.

OP, there are lots of direct sales companies if you want to go that route. The biggest thing IMO is to find something you absolutely LOVE and then it doesn't feel as uncomfortable. I can talk about freezer meals ALL DAY LONG because I love it and it's fun If you love MK that much you might do fine with it, but if not you need to find something else

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Old 04-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #20
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Lol, it's funny how answering a question turns into a sale pitch. Just noticed the irony.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #21
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You are right Eeyore, and I didn't mean to do that, I was trying to use my company as an example but I can do that without making it sound like I'm trying to recruit (which I'm not, the OP didn't give ANY indication she'd like to do anything other than MK).

Sorry, edited my post.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #22
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I have a friend who is a Sales Director, or I should say, I HAD a friend. I can't take the constant phone calling, texting, emailing, facebooking about MK. Every word out of her mouth is about MK and as soon as I see her, I run away. She is always posting about how wonderful MK is, but she comes across as desperate. I don't know how much she makes, but she does drive a mustang from MK and has a pretty nice house as a single mom. However, she has alienated a lot of people and to me, the house, the car, etc are not worth it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:00 PM   #23
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OP, I know you already made your decision, just thought I'd share my experience...

I spent a couple of fun and educational years in MK back in the mid- 90's.
And honestly, the reality is that you buy product to sell product to reinvest and buy more product, unless you have recruits who earn money for you.
But they make you feel really good about yourself while you do it
I think that is why so many people stay in MK as long as they do.
Drinking the MK Pink kool-aid that was me~

I got out for the following reasons:
1. we moved and while they say you can take it with you,
and keep up with your previous clients while also developing new clients in the new location,
that isn't very feasible in an industry as saturated as MK.
Someone is always waiting to scoop up your customer if you are not there to prevent it.

2. I had young kids and could stay home, a wonderful husband who made enough so I didn't have to work,
and time spent with MK was time away from them- the MK "God first, family second, business third"
is a line of bull in those circumstances.
Left and never looked back and all these years later I am glad that I did. I never profited one dime in MK and I was one of the ladies most often crowned "Queen of Sales" in our weekly meetings.


That being said, one of the girls I went to high school with (50 in our graduating class)
joined MK since I left, and she made National Sales Director this past year,
so it works for some, who I believe are truly propelled forward on the backs of others.
She was a highly aggressive personality in HS (and honestly, rather in a "step on you if you got in her way" sort of way- that is my recollection of her but maybe I just needed to get to know her better, but frankly I was scared of her... She is probably a very nice person today).
Evidently that works for her

They will tell you that the people at the top exist to help those at the bottom, to train them to be successful and help them in any way they can,
But guess who brings home the money?

It's a numbers game and you have to be willing to run down all the possible leads,
and expect only 30% to show interest in what you have to offer,
of those who show interest, one third will schedule a skin care class,
and only 1/3 of those will buy the whole skin care line,
and only 1/3 of happy customers will be interested in hearing about the "career opportunity",
only 1/3 of those who listen to the career opportunity spiel will join,
and only 1/3 of those will put forth the work to be successful.

And the only real money to be made is by recruiting people to work under you.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:48 PM   #24
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MaryKay, Avon, Amway, Mellaluca, etc etc etc..... all the same crap, different name. If you want to make a "living" off it, you never will unless you spend a crazy amount of hours pounding the pavement and making calls, harranging friends or neighbors or relatives, etc etc etc.

For the time, it's not worth it. You'd be better off getting a real job where you have a guaranteed paycheck each week and know what your hours are going to be.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:48 PM   #25
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I can't tell you how many times I heard " God first, then family,then business" motto all during the meeting. And all the support everyone kept saying they would give. Even said I would get all the commission my sales director planned for my first party( she was going to do all the work and bring the people too!) It just all seemed so fake and until now I couldn't figure out why they wanted to recruit me so bad. Hmmm now I know!
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:15 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=rebeccalizzie;48236317]See to me, that's the definition of someone who is going to do well in a direct sales position. The idea of going up to someone at the grocery store to try to sell them anything makes me want to throw up. Which is why only I make around $150 a month and you make enough to go to DLR! [QUOTE]

I used to be one of the shyest people you would have ever met!! Some one would ask me a question about something in a store and I'd be like "uhhh" even when I knew the answer. I hated talking to people!! Everyone I know was very surprised when I said I was going to give it a try. I've always been a follower not a leader. Now I've learned to have self confidence and be proud of who I am!! It's worked for me. I'll be the first to admit it's not for everyone. You do need to put in the time to go anywhere. I spend most of my time in my children's schools. But I don't push MK onto the teacher's, other parent's or the support staff. I've had them come up to me as I'm loading my kids in the car because I have on the back of my van my name, number and that I'm a consultant. Most never even knew I sold until they would see my vehicle.

I'm fortunate that I've been able to give about 2 hours a day to this (normally during my kids nap time). So I do put my family first. Also fortunate that I've been able to keep our DL trips going. We all get he benefits of what I'm doing.

OP Make you're own decision and do you're research. I've said it to other's this isn't for everyone. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone if you're going to do direct selling. Whether it be MK, Tupperware, Princess House, Pampered Chef, Lia Sofia, Premier Design Jewelry, etc. I love what I do and am glad I've been able to make it work for me.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #27
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I'm going mostly by my experiences with my (now ex) DW doing Pampered Chef. I think basically every one of these home based business opportunities is the same. I will start out by saying that, yes, you can make money doing it. I'm not going to try to say that NOBODY ever is successful, but they are largely in the minority. I also don't buy the line that it's because they work hard. While that's certainly part of it, there's a fair amount of luck that plays into it as well.

A few things that jump out at me as red flags with any of these businesses. The products and pricing are set by the parent company, except to the extent that the consultant is willing to eat into their own profits. All sales materials, catalogs, brochures, and other related propaganda, have to be procured from the parent company, in most cases at some cost to the consultant. Changing product, and refreshed catalogs multiple times a year mean a steady income stream for the parent company, and a steady recurring cost to the consultant. In order to remain "active", there is a minimum amount of purchases that have to be made over some interval of time. This may or may not be paid for by the consultant themselves.

I think the claims of income are, in almost all cases, exaggerated. This isn't necessarily an intentional attempt to deceive others, but more likely a lack of understanding of fundamental business practices. A short list of examples:
* Any commission or sales profit is business income, and it taxable (at least to the IRS if not state and local entities as well).
* In particular, if the other married partner has a substantial income already, this additional income could fall into a relatively high bracket; for fun, a couple should play "what if" with their turbotax and see what their tax situation looks like without the home business included, to get a real idea of what it means on their taxes.
* I've heard consultants talk about how they're able to "write off" so much stuff if they can relate it to their business, like the cost of mileage, getting coffee with their recruits, etc. This is all well and good, but if it's being written off, then it isn't really business income either; if it's an exaggerated stretch to call as a business expense something you'd be doing anyway, then it's tax fraud, and could land you in a lot of trouble.
* The converse of the above is to consider that some of the "perks" like free gifts, trips, usage of a car, and so on, may be considered taxable, and thus also affect your bottom line negatively without actually adding any usable cash in your pocket.
* I have never once heard of a consultant either sharing their IRS Schedule C that shows what their "real" business income was, or putting together a Profit and Loss statement for their business. I *have* heard of some showing stubs from commission checks, but as alluded to above, that's only half the story, though it does naively look like perhaps a lot of money.

After consideration of all of the above, and coming up with a real sense of how much income is generated, then it's time to consider the time involved with the business. That includes time spent driving to/from parties, to/from meetings, to/from meeting with recruits, preparing and entering shows, going to the bank to deposit checks, making phone calls, cleaning up any dishes left dirty after doing a show, preparing sales materials, and so on. You get the idea. Though a show might only last 2-3 hours, the total effort involved with each show, once you consider all of the above may be closer to 10 hours, or even more in some cases.

I haven't even touched upon issues like market saturation, and alienating family and friends. But, to say it succinctly, many consultants do find some initial success, particular from contacts they already know; some might have genuine interest in the product, and others might host a party just to be nice, but either way, the acceptance rate is far higher than with other people you might come across. Initially, this can paint an overly rosy picture about what to expect in the future. As you spread further from your initial social circle, acceptance rates drop, and the effects of market saturation become obvious as the likelihood of people already knowing a consultant (or already having written off dealing with the parties at all) increases pretty quickly.

So, yeah, that's my thoughts. I estimated that my DxW made something slightly below minimum wage, before even considering how much time/effect/expense I had to throw into the mix at times. I don't recommend any of these businesses.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:42 PM   #28
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Wow awesome post! You are right on and these are some of my concerns. I asked if there was some type of annual report or some data reflecting the average income for all consultants company wide. This regional director ( who flew in for the meeting) said there was no such report. Hmmm, how can they make such statements without providing recruits with some clear data? Another red flag for me.

The area director called me yesterday to " follow up and see if I was coming on board"? No politely said I didn't have time and thanked her. No letting up, could she call me in 3 months because life changes? Could I come to the pedicure meeting and get a free pedicure? They really push the friendship envelope.


Quote:
Originally Posted by timmac
I'm going mostly by my experiences with my (now ex) DW doing Pampered Chef. I think basically every one of these home based business opportunities is the same. I will start out by saying that, yes, you can make money doing it. I'm not going to try to say that NOBODY ever is successful, but they are largely in the minority. I also don't buy the line that it's because they work hard. While that's certainly part of it, there's a fair amount of luck that plays into it as well.

A few things that jump out at me as red flags with any of these businesses. The products and pricing are set by the parent company, except to the extent that the consultant is willing to eat into their own profits. All sales materials, catalogs, brochures, and other related propaganda, have to be procured from the parent company, in most cases at some cost to the consultant. Changing product, and refreshed catalogs multiple times a year mean a steady income stream for the parent company, and a steady recurring cost to the consultant. In order to remain "active", there is a minimum amount of purchases that have to be made over some interval of time. This may or may not be paid for by the consultant themselves.

I think the claims of income are, in almost all cases, exaggerated. This isn't necessarily an intentional attempt to deceive others, but more likely a lack of understanding of fundamental business practices. A short list of examples:
* Any commission or sales profit is business income, and it taxable (at least to the IRS if not state and local entities as well).
* In particular, if the other married partner has a substantial income already, this additional income could fall into a relatively high bracket; for fun, a couple should play "what if" with their turbotax and see what their tax situation looks like without the home business included, to get a real idea of what it means on their taxes.
* I've heard consultants talk about how they're able to "write off" so much stuff if they can relate it to their business, like the cost of mileage, getting coffee with their recruits, etc. This is all well and good, but if it's being written off, then it isn't really business income either; if it's an exaggerated stretch to call as a business expense something you'd be doing anyway, then it's tax fraud, and could land you in a lot of trouble.
* The converse of the above is to consider that some of the "perks" like free gifts, trips, usage of a car, and so on, may be considered taxable, and thus also affect your bottom line negatively without actually adding any usable cash in your pocket.
* I have never once heard of a consultant either sharing their IRS Schedule C that shows what their "real" business income was, or putting together a Profit and Loss statement for their business. I *have* heard of some showing stubs from commission checks, but as alluded to above, that's only half the story, though it does naively look like perhaps a lot of money.

After consideration of all of the above, and coming up with a real sense of how much income is generated, then it's time to consider the time involved with the business. That includes time spent driving to/from parties, to/from meetings, to/from meeting with recruits, preparing and entering shows, going to the bank to deposit checks, making phone calls, cleaning up any dishes left dirty after doing a show, preparing sales materials, and so on. You get the idea. Though a show might only last 2-3 hours, the total effort involved with each show, once you consider all of the above may be closer to 10 hours, or even more in some cases.

I haven't even touched upon issues like market saturation, and alienating family and friends. But, to say it succinctly, many consultants do find some initial success, particular from contacts they already know; some might have genuine interest in the product, and others might host a party just to be nice, but either way, the acceptance rate is far higher than with other people you might come across. Initially, this can paint an overly rosy picture about what to expect in the future. As you spread further from your initial social circle, acceptance rates drop, and the effects of market saturation become obvious as the likelihood of people already knowing a consultant (or already having written off dealing with the parties at all) increases pretty quickly.

So, yeah, that's my thoughts. I estimated that my DxW made something slightly below minimum wage, before even considering how much time/effect/expense I had to throw into the mix at times. I don't recommend any of these businesses.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:40 AM   #29
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I don't sell Mary Kay but I have I used it for 26 years. It's a wonderful product and I love it. I can only share the customer side of it. Make it easy for the customer to purchase your product. I could easily hop in the car and go to a department store and buy my make up. My MK Rep makes it easy for me. I will call or email her the day before I need something. She will have the product ready for me to pick up any time of the day or night because she has a pink mailbox attached to her home so I can pull up get the product and leave a check inside the box. I have also had her to delivery it to my home if I couldn't get by her house. So it comes down loving the product and making it easy for your customers to continue ordering from you.
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