Is Mary Kay a Scam? Another Pyramid Scheme In Disguise!?

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If you’re here reading this Mary Kay review then I’ll bet that someone sold you on the idea that you can create your own business by promoting and selling Mary Kay products as well as recruiting others to do the same.

If you’re someone looking to start your own business and create a career-level income, a MLM company like Mary Kay is a popular way to do so because it allows you to work for yourself and there’s no limit to your earning potential.

I’m sure you’re wondering if Mary Kay is another pyramid scheme scam? Or are they a legit opportunity? In this review I’ll go over the good, the bad, and the ugly so you’ll know what to expect before you jump in.


Tired of Scams & Low Quality Opportunities?



Mary Kay Review

Name: Mary Kay
Type: MLM (multi-level marketing)
Startup Costs: $100 for Starter Kit (one time) + buy $225 worth of product every 3 months
Ideal For: Women entrepreneurs who want to start their own business

sell women products multi level marketing

What Is Mary Kay?

Mary Kay is a Texas-based MLM (multi-level marketing) company in the business of selling women’s products such as makeup, fragrance, skin care, and many more products. They also offer a business opportunity for women entrepreneurs who are interested in creating an income by selling these products.

Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by….*drum roll* a woman named Mary Kay! They’ve been in business for over half a century so that’s definitely a good sign they’re legit as scams don’t tend to last that long. They also currently have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which is another good sign they’re legit.

Mary Kay Products

Mary Kay sells mostly women’s cosmetic products such as makeup, fragrance, skin care, etc. but they also have a line of products targeted towards men including men’s cologne, shaving creams, after shave lotions, etc.

May Kay has over 200+ products, here are just a few examples of the things they sell:

  • Skin Care – Serums, cleansers, face masks, moisturizers, age fighting creams, and more
  • Makeup – Eyeliners, foundations, lipsticks, concealers, brushes, and more
  • Body & Sun – Sunscreen and lotions, toning creams, tanning lotions, and more.
  • Fragrance – Perfume in various different scents
  • Men – Colognes, shaving gels, creams, foams, etc.
  • Gifts – Gift sets for various occasions such as Mother’s Day, Teacher’s Appreciation Day, etc.

Become a Mary Kay Independent Consultant

If you’re interested in making money with Mary Kay you’ll have to sign up as an independent consultant. Because this company mostly sells women products so obviously this opportunity is more suitable for ladies, but if you’re a man who’s comfortable with selling these things I don’t see what stops you from joining.

By becoming a Mary Kay consultant you’ll be able to earn commissions for promoting and selling their products as well as by recruiting new consultants under you to do the same.

To get started you’ll have to invest in their Starter Kit which costs you $100. The kit contains retail-sized products so you can show and demonstrate to your potential customers at home parties or wherever you decide to promote them. You’ll also get brochures, DVDs, and sales tips.

In addition you’ll also need to spend  at least $225 on products at wholesale pricing every 3 months to remain as an active consultant and be qualified to earn commissions from sales. This is called auto-ship and most MLM companies have this requirement.

I really dislike auto-ship because it forces you to keep buying inventory even if you haven’t sold much. So if you’re not making sales you’ll just have more and more inventory you’ll have to store. 

Mary Kay’s Compensation Plan

As a Mary Kay consultant you have 2 primary ways of making money under their compensation plan:

  1. Direct Sales – As a consultant of Mary Kay you get access to wholesale pricing and you can buy products at 50% off and sell them back to customers at full retail price, the difference is your profit
  2. Recruiting New Consultants – Recruiting a downline and earn commissions from their sales

If you’re looking to earn by recruiting people you can earn 4% from your downline sales, but this can increase as you move up the ranks and levels. You move up levels by selling more products and recruiting more people.

In addition there are also lots of team building bonuses between $50 to $3,000 that you can earn, how much you earn depends on your leadership levels and how well you perform.

If you’d like to earn more details check out Mary Kay’s Recruiting Notebook or see the video below:

Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?

No, Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme, they are a MLM company. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who often confuse the two, many other people do too because they’re very similar in that both business models focuses a lot on recruiting.

The difference is that a pyramid scheme has no real products for you to sell and the ONLY way to earn is by recruiting new members into the system. Whereas with MLMs you can earn by recruiting new members as well as by earning commissions by selling real products. Pyramid schemes are illegal while MLMs are legit businesses.

In Mary Kay’s case their independent consultant’s primary source of profits is by selling their women’s cosmetic products, so that is what makes them MLM and not a pyramid scheme.

How Much Are Mary Kay Consultants Earning?

Even though MLMs are considered legit I highly do not recommend you waste your time and money on them because most people don’t make much money doing this.

If you take a look at Mary Kay’s Earnings Representation which basically says that in 2018 they had a total of 29,500 independent consultants in Canada of which only 3,701 were active for a year and earned commissions, and of those who did earn commissions approximately 47.1% earned less than $100 annually!

Sure there are a small number of people who are able to climb the ranks and levels and earn the big commissions and bonuses, but the majority stay at the bottom and they’re lucky if they don’t lose money.

If you still don’t believe this is a bad way to make money then take a look at This Report Done For The FTC Website which basically says that less than 1% of MLM businesses profit. Unless you’re someone who is exceptional at selling and recruiting, MLMs are basically a waste of time and money in my opinion.

I highly recommend you learn to Build a Blogging Business instead which is a LOT easier to succeed in than MLMs, it’s the same thing I currently do to make $1000+ a month. It’s even free to start and newbie friendly!

Is Mary Kay a Scam?

Even though I don’t think Mary Kay’s business opportunity is anything special I wouldn’t call them a scam. They’ve been around for 55+ years and are probably the oldest and most well-known companies out there. Your mom or grandmother has probably used or even sold their products at one time or another.

However there’s a really low income potential and it appears that the vast majority of their consultants either aren’t earning anything or are just earning peanuts. So what makes you different? Do you have any exceptional selling and recruiting skills? If the answer is no then you probably won’t be making the big bucks.

If you’re looking to start your own business and earn a reliable and substantial part time or full time income then I got a much better idea. Below I’ll show you how I currently make $1,000+ a month with a blogging business and how you can too.

A Much Better Way To Make Money

In 2016 I found the proper way to build a blog/website and earn money by promoting other people’s products and services as an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing is better than MLMs in a few ways:

  • No need to sell anything or recruit anyone, just recommend them to your blog readers
  • Freedom to promote any product you want, not just products limited to the MLM company you join
  • Very inexpensive to start

This is the same strategy I currently use on this blog to make over $1,000 a month which is enough to cover my modest living costs.

If you’re interested in learning step-by-step on how to grow your own online business, even if you’re a newbie without any prior experience, check out my Top Work At Home Recommendation.

I will explain to you exactly how affiliate marketing with a blog works, why it works so well, and how you can get started today for free! 

If you’re not ready to build your own business yet and just want to earn some quick money right now today then why not check out my Favorite “Get-Paid-To” Sites which are sites that let you earn extra income by taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, opening emails, and lots more.

Anyways that’s it for my Mary Kay review. If you have any experiences or comments you’d like to share I’d love to read them below.

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