Can You Make Money Selling Mary Kay?ツ

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Mary Kay Skin Care & Cosmetics Review

Name: Mary Kay Skin Care & Cosmetics


Price: $100

Owners: Mary Kay Ash (Founder), Richard R. Rogers, (Executive Chairman/Co-Founder)

Overall Rank: 2.5 out of 5 ツ

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is wealthy affiliate for beginnersNOTE: It is critical for you to know I am not an affiliate of Mary Kay. Rich Artist Starving Artist gives truthful, genuine reviews. My top priority is providing you with quality, entertaining, and informative reviews and I am not influenced by anyone or anything.

Prior to choosing any multi-level marketing opportunity, read this article:

What Is An MLM?

Other Multi-level Marketing Business Opportunity Reviews To Read:

What Is H2O At Home About?

Becoming A Pampered Chef Consultant?

Is Amway A Pyramid Scheme?

Is Touchstone Essentials A Scam?

You’re looking for a legitimate online business opportunity, but more often than not you wind up purchasing a scam or a low quality product which is why you find yourself here asking “Can You Make Money Selling Mary Kay?” prior to buying into it.  Let’s take a look.

The Company

If you have ever bought skin care products or cosmetics, you likely have come across Mary Kay, an independently-owned skin care and cosmetics company founded by Mary Kay Ash in 1963.  The company has amassed a total of $3 billion yearly and concentrates on six notable product lines: cosmetics, skin care, fragrances, sunscreens, gifts and personal care for men (shaving cream, face soap colognes).

can you make money selling mary kay

You can purchase Mary Kay products online via their website; however, it is highly recommended that you contact your neighborhood Independent Beauty Consultant and buy through him or her.  Why is that?

For the reason that Mary Kay is a direct selling, multi-level marketing  (MLM) company.

How Does Mary Kay Operate?

Companies who want to expand their marketplace and sell their wares by gross typically make an agreement with area distributors, who buy their products at wholesale prices in bulk.  Those distributors in turn sell those products to various retailers at an established markup.  Then, finally, the retailer in turn sells those products to customers also with an established markup.

can you make money selling mary kayA direct selling company such as Mary Kay has no distributors or retailers.  Individuals buy products at wholesale prices directly from the company.  These individuals then turn around and sell those products at a marked up price to their customers for a profit.

Individuals sell their products by hosting parties in their homes, listing them on their personal Mary Kay website or simply by going door-to-door handing out samples trying to persuade customers to purchase from them.

Said individuals or “consultants” may also recruit people into the company to sell products.  This is the multi-level marketing side of the company.  Through recruiting, the primary consultant receives referral commissions.  When their recruits then turn around and recruit someone into the company, the primary consultant’s commissions increase.  Some multi-level marketing companies commissions flow upwards through four recruiting levels or more.

How To Become A Mary Kay Consultant

In order to become a Mary Kay Consultant, you need to purchase their Starter Kit at a cost of $100.  With the Starter Kit, you receive some brochures, a few products and access to your personal website.

can you make money selling mary kay

You can now start taking customer orders and purchasing the products they order for them at a 50% discount from the retail price.  Therefore, if a customer purchased from you a $10 lipstick they saw in a Mary Kay catalog, you will make a $5 profit after you purchase and deliver it to the customer.

can you make money selling mary kayHowever, you have to take into account that, in order to stay active as a Mary Kay consultant, you need to buy a minimum of $225 wholesale – valued at $450 retail – of their products every three months.

Also, you can make extra income by recruiting other consultants.  As a matter of fact, recruiting is the clear-cut way to leveraging the effort you put into selling and rising up in the sales ranks of Mary Kay.  Mary Kay consultants have 15 levels.  Each level pays out increasing commissions, larger bonuses and bigger incentives such as the use of the iconic pink Cadillac or “career car.”  Note that, in order to receive this perk, you and your team require massive wholesale product sales – in the neighborhood of $200,000 a year.

Pros And Cons


Quality Products – Mary Kay offers middle-end skin care and cosmetics comparable to Nu Skin and Avon.  There is a wide selection of products to pick from including men’s personal care products.

Extensive Market – Mary Kay’s products are relevant to an expansive audience which include women, kids and men.  Mary Kay sells a lot more than merely makeup.

Lofty Commissions – Taking home 50% of the product cost allows consultants to offer discounts and run promotions and still earn a profit.


Saturated Market – When I researched Mary Kay consultants according to my geographic area, I didn’t discover one or two, but eight neighborhood beauty consultants.  That’s a considerably high amount of consultants for an area consisting of around 15 miles.

Sales Pressure – If you thought purchasing $225 (wholesale) of Mary Kay products every three months was grim, prepare yourself to endure considerable sales pressure by the local sales director to buy packages of inventory that cost around $600 up to as high as $4,800.  That’s because the higher you move up the rankings at Mary Kay, the more you’re pressured to persuade the recruits beneath you to buy theses packages and literally thousands of dollars in inventory every month.

can you make money selling mary kay

Storage – Not like Avon, where you get orders from consumers and then buy the products, Mary Kay has you buying enormous amounts of wholesale inventory first to sell afterward, hopefully.  But, until you’ve sold that inventory, you have to store it somewhere which leads to the question – where?  You will be forking out a monthly fee should you rent a storage unit.  So, unless you have an empty basement or closet, you’ll be besieged by inventory.

Selling Restrictions – Mary Kay stresses that you sell their products to your immediate social circle consisting of friends and family members.  However, this market is quickly going to tap out and you’ll have to search for new customers.  A lot of people use Craigslist, Facebook and eBay to sell their wares.  However, Mary Kay does not allow you to use these platforms.  You can read more about it here.

The Final Verdict

Although Mary Kay has quality products and offers lofty commissions, I would be reluctant to sign up for their business opportunity because of the significant pressure to purchase massive amounts of inventory which you then are restricted to selling through their company website, home parties and/or door-to-door.  Keep in mind that this inventory comes with an expiry date too so you have to move it fast or be stuck with expired, useless and unwanted product.

Are you a current Mary Kay consultant or sold their products in the past?  I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with the company.  Please leave your comments below.


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  1. dreamgirl93

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    • Barb

      Hi, Dreamgirl!

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  2. Chris

    Interesting read. I feel like MLM’s such as Mary Kay are making a comeback although they have been around for ever, but i see a lot more people actually going with them and making money. Is that because of the rise of social media, its easy to access more people? How have you found it?

    • Barb

      Hi, Chris!

      Yes, MLMs have been around a long time.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that there has been an increase in people joining them though.  I believe people are more successful at it because of social media but you really have to be careful how the products are sold.  A lot of MLM companies will restrict distributors/consultants from selling on certain platforms.  So, it’s real important to read the fine print.

      Also, there is good and bad with everything and that includes MLMs.  You really need to do your research before you decide to part with your money.  Check out my #1 recommendation for starting a successful online business.  There’s no selling or recruiting involved and it’s absolutely free to join.  Click here to read my full review.  

  3. JeffWA

    Hi, Barb! I am familiar with Mary Kay products having seen enough advertisements for the company many times in my life.

    Despite the company’s supposed reputation, you painted an entirely different picture regarding an individual attempting to run a business by selling Mary Kay products.

    The fact that a distributor would be forced to buy at least $225 of products every several months, and only able to recover the money if she can successfully sell the products is definitely a con.

    You also mentioned the saturation in some markets of other distributors also selling Mary Kay products. If a woman is brand new to the business, it would be quite difficult for her to turn it into a successful one based on that competition coming from others who undoubtedly would have plenty of loyal customers all within a geographical neighborhood.

    I wonder about available training to a person starting out her business with the company? Would she be assigned some sort of mentor to guide her through the initial phase of the business?

    Reviewing similar companies myself who sell jewelry, beauty products, etc., in fact it is difficult to sustain a business through the ideal of hosting parties repeatedly. How many times would a friend come to a party, particularly if the individual would have no intention of purchasing products during every occasion?

    Also apparently as you mentioned a distributor could not use social media to advertise the products in her business? Are you kidding me? What does the upper management of Mary Kay still believe that it’s still 1985 when there was no Face Book, Internet and most people did not own a personal computer? This company apparently is still in the stone ages!

    Also, could a distributor earn additional income in her business by successfully recruiting new members placed directly beneath her if the company has such a business model regarding compensation?

    Mary Kay might have a very well-known name for itself regarding their products. Becoming a distributor and having a successful online business, however, is something entirely different and in my opinion a bit of a negative. Many distributors in fact probably are not successful as independent contractors with this company.


    • Barb

      Wow!  Thanks, Jeff for your very detailed comment.

      With regard to Mary Kay training, typically, the consultant who recruits you into Mary Kay trains you and acts as your mentor.  Also, there is training from the local sales director, Mary Kay University, and the sales tips inside your starter package for additional training.

      I agree.  The problem with the party model is that your immediate social circle will get tired of yet another Mary Kay party.  They may go to the party, but they won’t buy anything.

      Yes, a distributor can earn commissions from their downline, but you really have to push them to sell.  There is a tremendous amount of pressure to sell! Sell!  Sell!

      It is possible to be successful with Mary Kay, but you have to be comfortable selling, recruiting and managing a team.  If you can’t do all three, you won’t go very far. Check out my #1 recommendation here. There is no selling or recruiting involved and it’s absolutely free!

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