My Brief Stint as a Mary Kay Sales Rep (and What I Learned)

My Brief Stint as a Mary Kay Sales Rep (and What I Learned)For those of you who may not remember, back in November, I did a post about how excited I was to become a Mary Kay sales rep. I was thrilled to earn some extra money on the side by playing with something that I love: makeup.

That honeymoon period lasted all of a month… after I had sunk about $2300 into my “business.”

All of the sudden, I was at the whim of everybody and their sister. One of the big sellers on the MK rep lifestyle is that you get to spend more time with your loved ones. This did not turn out to be true, because everyone that had money to spend on good makeup worked a 9 to 5 job just like my husband, so they wanted to meet on nights and weekends.

Even worse, I found I made almost no money. As a Mary Kay sales rep, you pay for all the products up front. They tell you that you are going to make 50% profit, because you pay half price and then sell the products for full price.

Not so.

Mary Kay offers little “free with purchase” gifts that you as a sales rep have to pay for then give away for free. You’re also pressured to give ladies $10 coupons to meet with you and the majority of items cost $20 or less. And when someone hosts a Mary Kay party, you must provide them with a hostess gift ($20-$35) and a percentage of sales in free product (10-20%). All of these costs frequently left me with $5 or less in profit for 1-2 hours of time away from my husband.

This was not at all worth it for me. So I’ve put all my stock up for sale at 40% off (tax included) and I’m hanging up my Mary Kay sales rep hat.

That being said, I still LOVE the products.

They’re cheaper than most over-the-counter makeup brands and even many Walmart brands. And you get a lot more ounces on products like their moisturizers and bag-reducing eye creams.

Mary Kay Cream Eye Shadow

I wear their cream eye shadow every day. It really does last all day long without fading. And the colors are simply fabulous.

Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution

And I really just cannot say enough good things about the Timewise Night Solution. This stuff has seriously bettered my skin tone. I put it on at night and I wake up with less redness and smaller pores. It’s packed with vitamins and my skin clearly loves them.

So what did I learn? For me, being a Mary Kay sales rep was not worth the time or money. But the products are fantastic and some other rep will find me a loyal customer.

Have you every sold Mary Kay? What about Jamberry Nails? It Works or any of the many other DIY businesses? Did it work for you? What did you learn? 

Megan Gonzalez

By | 2016-04-23T16:14:51+00:00 May 5th, 2016|Health & Beauty|9 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. I'm crazy for God and want to share his love with awesome girls around the globe.


  1. ashley lee June 2, 2016 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I was a rep for a very short time. I could not afford to pay the large amount for the product up front so the lady that signed up up and was over me did not like that. Then they harassed me because I did not want to go to the 6pm weekly meetings. I was over 6 months pregnant and tired all the time. Last thing I wanted to do was go to meetings at night. I did not like that they were rude to me all the time. I did not make any money and I ended up giving most my stuff away! I love using the products though!

    • Megan Gonzalez June 3, 2016 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Honestly, it’s better that you weren’t able to make a big buy in. I did and now I’m going to have to return a lot of it for a percentage of what I paid for it. I didn’t last long as a rep either. I would spend an hour and a half with a potential client and sell a seven dollar product! I can’t count how many times that happened. They didn’t bug me to go to a weekly meeting because I didn’t have one in my area, but I’m so sorry they were such bullies about yours. I’m going to be lucky if I break even after returning the products, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m like you though, even though I don’t want to sell it. I love using the products. They’re great! I wish you better luck on your next venture!

  2. Audrey White May 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    I have a friend who has had great success as a MK rep, but I don’t think I could ever do it! Go you for trying and learning from it!

  3. Rachel G May 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I’m not a salesperson by nature–I’ve always thought it would be really hard to have any kind of sales job. I have used Mary Kay before and have really liked their products!

  4. Shann Eva May 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    I’ve sat through a couple sales pitches, and seriously considered a couple, but never loved any products enough to sell anything. I guess I’m not really a salesperson at heart. Sorry to hear you had to pay out so much money, but it sounds like you learned from your experience. The products do sound really great.

  5. Susannah May 5, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Goodness, it’s stories like these that make me know I would NOT be cut out for Multi Level Marketing! Good for you for making the decision that was right for you and your family! <3

  6. Becky @ Disney in your Day May 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Wow, really interesting. I’ve been having a similar experience since becoming a travel agent as a part time job. Everything is based on commission but then you also have to use some of your commission to pay to mail stuff out, etc. The amount of time I’ve been putting into it doesn’t seem to be showing much profit.

  7. Liz Jo May 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    I was never a big fan of Mary Kay before but I’m so sorry you sunk so much money into it!

    liz @ j for joiner

  8. LeighAnn May 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    So happy to read this post! I have considered being a MK rep because I use a ton of their stuff but it sounds like it isn’t worth it! Thanks for the post!

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