The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

January 6, 2014

Valley woman is Mary Kay proud

(Continued)

Earnings depend on sales

Despite the attractive perks, a career in direct sales is not easy; there are no guarantees.

Not everyone who has signed up with Mary Kay has been happy with the experience.

There is a start-up cost of around $100 for a starter kit of products. But some consultants have felt they’ve been pressured by their directors to spend hundreds of dollars more for additional products. “...  your director will try very hard to pressure you into buying $600- $4,600 in product. She will tell you that you can’t sell from an empty wagon. She will go as far as to pressure you to take out a loan or borrow the money from a friend,” claimed one writer in an online forum called “How much does it cost to be a Mary Kay consultant?”

“Every three months you must order $200 worth of products. This does not include all the samples, hostess gifts, and free gifts with purchase,” she continued. “You will always be pressured to order more than your minimum $200 because your director will want her Cadillac and that depends on your ordering more.”

Use of a Mary Kay car is based on different production levels and the top is the pink Cadillac. To get there, a consultant must first build a team which means signing up others to help sell the products. Then the team needs to place a minimum amount of product orders with the company. It’s the wholesale orders of the team that will determine its production level.

Another online forum writer complained that “in order to qualify for the car at just the ’grand achiever’ level, a consultant must build their team to 12 members and have a minimum production of $18,000 within four months. That means your average monthly production is $4,500 and you may only contribute $4,000 of the $18,000 toward the requirement.”

The career cars are not given but rather “co-op leased” for two years (there is the option of taking a cash compensation instead). In keep the car, a specified level of production must be maintained. Depending on that production level, a consultant might end up owing the full lease payment, a portion of it, or nothing at all.

Fail to meet the minimum production requirements for several months and the car will be taken away (“Mary Kay Career Car Program Guidelines”).

Kantz’s first two career cars were a gray Chevy Malibu and a black Mustang.

This is her first pink Cadillac. “It’s awesome,” she said. “It is all touch-screen — sort of like a smart phone in a car form.”

The pink Cadillac is the top incentive and only available to sales directors like Kantz who are the top 2 percent of earners in the company, and who have a team of at least 24 and produce $96,000 or more over six months.

Kantz has about 100 consultants in her unit which pulls in $96,000 wholesale, she said.

She has no plans to slow down or change direction. If anything, she is more motivated. She is already looking forward to her next career car — “In two years I will trade it in for my option of the 2016 CTS Cadillac, 2016 SRX Cadillac or the cash compensation option,” she said. In this tough economy, those who can hustle, recruit and sell while working independently for the good of a parent company that offers levels of rewards and incentives may find a direct sales opportunity like Mary Kay a good fit.

Kantz, for one, is very satisfied. “I can honestly say that the longer I am in Mary Kay, the more I love it,” she said. “The company treats us so well; we truly feel cared about, and they recognize us for our work and accomplishments.”

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