Side Hustle: Selling Cosmetics

April 14, 2011


I used to sell Mary Kay as an independent consultant, but I also used to work for a Mary Kay Director as a personal assistant.

Recently, she approached me to see if I’d consider starting up again, and  I’m giving some serious thought to sell MK as side hustle for extra cash…

I used to love selling the product and the fact I could use my business to support causes I cared about.  In 2007 and 2008 I participated in “Operation Sunscreen” to get carepacks of sunscreen and after sun to our troops overseas with the Soldiers’ Angels Network .  In 2008, I started my “Kisses for Cancer Patients” project to generate money for cancer research and got several hundred tubes of Apple Berry lipstick donated to women in treatment.   Also in 2008  I donated all the proceeds from my sales in a three month period to Dogs4Diabetics– it was only $455 but it felt goooood.

I now live on the other side of the country, I don’t have any room (or much money) for an inventory, nor am I able to market the business like I used to…(Through parties and skin care classes…ya, try taking a glamour tote on the train!)   Mary Kay does offer to ship my customer orders directly to them to negate the need for inventory, but can I swing it?  I would love to use my cosmetics business to make people feel good and to raise money for charity again, but is it feasible and is it effective?

The startup cost is low (almost non-existent), the risk is low (I can always return any unsold product and unenroll from the company for a 90% refund)- but it really depends on my ability to schedule it in and commit to it.  I wouldn’t even consider restarting if I didn’t love the company as much as I do.  They have a great money-back guarantee for all their products (for both consultants and customers), their staff have always been helpful when I needed it (both as a personal assistant and as consultant), and both their products and their business practices are something I can stand behind.

I know there are plenty of sites out there dedicated to bashing the company- but in my experience, I have nothing but positive things to say.  I’ve never felt used or ripped off by Mary Kay, their guidelines are clear, and I’ve seen it work for people- as it worked for me for several years.

The ability to help others is what stands out to me in my experience with Mary Kay…I wonder if I could do it again, and should I do it again? Would it be complimentary to my current situation and long term goals?   Thoughts?


5 comments so far.

5 responses to “Side Hustle: Selling Cosmetics”

  1. Kelley says:

    You BETTAH believe that $455 was such an amazing gift! Thank you so much for doing that for me <3

  2. I say do it. You’ve made a very compelling case for it. I also had a very positive, long-term experience with a direct selling company, although I eventually decided it was time to move on. Good luck with your decision!

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks Julie! I appreciate the feedback- I know there are mixed reviews about direct sale companies. There are also some very negative sites out there, full of people who had negative experiences. I think that if you know the rules, have done your research and thought it through (knowing the factors of success and the risk involved) you can sidestep most problems. I think some people expect to have instant success, having unrealistic expectations about how they will be received and that they will instantly be able to make thousands from a small circle of family and friends.

      Family and friends gave me a LOT of great business, to which I’m so thankful, but it’s not fair (or smart) to rely on them to make your business successful. Grandma only needs so many lipsticks!

      BTW Julie, I just added your blog to my feed- it’s great! To anyone reading this comment, please check out Julie’s blog, it’s got some solid financial advice and thoughtful posts! I see you’ll be attending the Financial Blogger Conference in October, so exciting- I’d love to meet you!

  3. Corrie says:

    I’ve yet to essentially understand and comprehend the essence of the contents of your write-up.

  4. You have done a great job with everything on this site


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