Commentary on fraud, scams, scandals, and court cases.

The fight against Mary Kay Cosmetics gets some press

A fluff piece about a Mary Kay Cosmetics distributor in the Springfield News Sun this morning mentions my website, The fluff piece focuses on a woman who drives a “Mary Kay car” and reportedly has good pay. Yet at this woman’s level in the distributorship chain, she is probably making less than $20,000 a year.

Here’s the mention of my consumer education site:

The Web site, established by Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and former sales consultant, offers opinions and experiences from women who have been members of the sales force and opted out.

On the site, Coenen listed her major concerns about what she believes is a multi-level marketing operation. “Incomplete information given during the recruiting process, unsubstantiated earnings claims, and pushing large quantities of inventory on new recruits” round out her list.

Willa Eichelman, a division chief with the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Enon resident, has heard the claims, but feels every woman involved can make her own decision. Working as a sales consultant under Stevens for the past year, Eichelman said she did not feel forced to take on a large inventory she could not afford.

She decided to carry an inventory so she could fill customer orders immediately. “It’s a personal business decision. It was suggested to me when I started, but not required,” she said.

The problem with the “optional” inventory, is that so many women are strongly led to believe they cannot succeed without it. And who goes into business to fail? New consultants are frequently overloaded with too much product, and it sits on the shelves due to the very small market of actual retail customers.


  1. Peter Camper

    ” . . . probably making less than $20,000 a year .?” Which is to say, you haven’t the *slightest* clue what she’s actually pulling down. Seriously, Ms Coenen, stop blowing smoke and start citing facts. MLM is a scam and it deserves to be fully understood by EVERYONE exposed to it but your vaguely nebulous, yet thoroughly VENOMOUS handwavium is even more despicable than the unobtanium peddled by the MLM hucksters.

    Numbers please? You /claim/ to be a forensic accountant but you, in another article express that as effectively as a high school sophomore. Master the English Language, learn to count past ten without pulling off your shoes THEN feel free to come back once you’ve mastered the basic skill set.

    Meantimes, save the spite for your own inadequacies.

    All the best,


  2. Tracy Coenen

    Yes, Peter, I know exactly how much she is making. The numbers are simple, even though MK won’t release them because it would show what an awful “opportunity” they’re offering. At this not-so-free car level cited in the article, women are making about $20,000 a year. I’ve had plenty of women produce their numbers for me, and there is also a simple formula to calculate this. A this level, the car driver’s team must order $96,000 wholesale from the company per year. At an average commission rate of 20% (which is actually quite generous, as often they’re getting less than that), that would total $19,200 commissions per year. Some at this car level are making a bit more, but most are barely squeaking by with the minimum ordering needed. Sad, but true.

    And with women at this level easily putting in 50 hours a week or more, they’re making a whopping $7.38 per hour at this awesome job.

  3. Julie

    My friend is a MK consultant. The commission rate is 50%. AND, the consultant told me that on the other 50% for MK, 73% of it goes to consultants as rewards. So on the 100$ of products that I bought, it means that only 12$ goes to profit MaryKay, and on this 12$, an amount as to go on the product value. So our 100$ products value only about 5$ !!! Not impressed.

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