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tv   2020  ABC  October 2, 2015 10:01pm-11:01pm PDT

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tonight, this shark is working overtime. >> reporter: he's tough. >> who cares? >> reporter: he's brash. and tonight, "shark tank"'s kevin o'leary is getting in your face, literally. to teach you his top five secrets of the sell. >> don't cry. be a man! >> reporter: you heard him. "mr. wonderful" is taking no prisoners. >> business is war. my job is to salt the earth my competitors walk on. and go home and hug my kids. >> you've been said to have all the subtlety of bleach. it's a persona he forged at an early age. >> my first job was to scoop ice cream. the woman who owned the mall said to me, "you've gotta get down with a knife and scrape all
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the gum out." i said, "i'm not gonna wash the floors. i'm a scooper." and she looked at me and said, "you're fired." i would never work for anybody again. >> reporter: now, they're working for him. and tonight, the guy who went from scooping ice cream to building a $4 billion company -- >> i have enough to get by. i'm okay. >> reporter: will show you how to sell stuff yourself. >> welcome to "the 20/20 sales challenge." >> reporter: because if you can sell this, you can sell anything. >> i love it. >> reporter: and throwing them into shark-infested waters to close the deal -- or else. >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: tonight, who bites? and who just bites the dust?
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>> this is where the rubber meets the road. >> tonight, teaching you how to sell yourself. passing on the hard-earned secrets of the sell. >> and you can be alert for when they're used on you. here's espn's hannah storm with the play-by-play. >> step into the elevator. toes to the yellow tape. okay, we're rolling, rolling. >> all right, let's go. >> reporter: we ask college seniors who are about to hit the job market to sell their most important commodity first -- themselves. >> you got it. >> reporter: -- in the time it takes for an elevator ride, otherwise known as the "elevator pitch." >> why should you choose me? >> i have a lot of energy. >> i'm a really big go-getter. >> i'm relentless. >> definitely driven. >> you can never beat the man who doesn't give up. >> people say it's a man's job, but guess what guys? there's a new girl in town.
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>> reporter: a lot of kids graduating from college. how critical is sales for them? >> every business has sales. if you have no sales, you have no business. you go bankrupt. >> reporter: in the end, six stand out and become our sales challenge semi-finalists. >> hi, my name is ashley. >> michael. >> natasha. >> zack. >> mallory. >> tommy. >> reporter: time to meet the sensei of sales. >> welcome to the "20/20" sales challenge. please have a seat. >> reporter: our shark, kevin o'leary, leads a sales boot camp and shares his secrets. >> we're going to learn how to sell. hardest job in the world, most rewarding job in the world, and the only job that you can measure every day. >> reporter: and in this class it's pass or fail. >> i've gotta tell you the truth -- i'm only picking three of you. 50% of you are gonna be dead to me in a few minutes. >> reporter: kevin teaches his top five sales techniques that he guarantees can work for anyone.
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first, "walk the walk." >> great salesmen and women understand it's their destiny to be a salesperson and to be great. it has to be there all the time, 24/7, no chink in that armor. that's called walking the walk. >> reporter: next, "feel the love." >> you have to love the product you're selling. you have to have an emotional bond with it. it has to be oozing from every pore that this is the greatest product you have ever sold. >> reporter: and remember our elevator challenge? >> you should pick me because i don't pick up. >> i can speak pretty well. >> reporter: hone that "perfect pitch." >> don't dribble on. capture your audience immediately. communicate your vision for why the product belongs in their hands. that's the perfect pitch. >> reporter: kevin's fourth technique, "be kind, not nice." >> i don't trust nice people,
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all right? i don't believe that someone can be nice all the time. every product has its merits and its downsides. don't lie about a product as if there's no problems at all. create that bond of trust. that's paramount. >> reporter: and finally, "be sticky, not gummy." >> gummy people just keep going after the sale and wasting everybody's time. you have to make a decision whether they're ultimately gonna buy from you or not. as soon as you understand that they're not, don't waste your time. cut them loose. >> what are typical body language signs that -- okay, they're definitely not interested? >> if they step back from you, first -- that's a negative. if they don't stop and you're chasing them as they're walking, that's not good, either. >> reporter: those are kevin's sales techniques. now they must learn the product from a quirky boston cupcake company that o'leary invested in on "shark tank." >> we came up with the idea of shipping them in a jar. our jars are baked fresh daily.
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we layer them with frosting, shipped in gift boxes so they're ready to eat from the package. >> reporter: what was it that you saw in wicked good cupcakes that made you wanna invest? >> could we take a commodity -- and there's nothing more like a commodity than a cupcake, anybody can make one -- and make it the fastest-growing cupcake brand in america? >> reporter: and today those cupcakes will be the currency separating the winners from the losers. >> let's do a little role play. i wanna get a sense of how you're going to sell, okay? let's start with you, ashley. >> would you like these amazing cupcakes? i mean, the flavor is just so out of this world. >> how much is it? >> $5. >> $5 for a cupcake? are you crazy? all right, tommy. what do you do about the price objection? "five bucks? are you out of your mind?" >> it's the fastest-growing company in america, without a doubt. >> it's the fastest-growing cupcake company in america? let's not lie to anybody.
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$5, i don't wanna buy it. mallory? >> it's a reusable jar. you know, it comes with a spoon. it's easy to eat on the go. >> natasha, you've convinced me. i'll buy one. what are you -- what are you gonna do now? >> why don't you buy two for your significant other, your child? they're gonna love it. you can give it to your friends. great gift. >> is there a specific target market that we're trying to target? >> your target market is anyone with a mouth, all right? michael, what are you gonna do when somebody says, "look, i have no time. i'm really, really busy. i can't talk to you"? >> you can maybe come by later. we're still gonna be here for the rest of the day. >> no, you want to make the sale right there. there's no, no future. when they walk away from you, they're gone forever. zachary, i'm not interested in the cupcake. i don't want one right now. >> is that so? well, lemme tell you something. this is the best cupcake in the entire world. you should be honored to be giving me the money for this fantastic product. >> your pitch isn't working, all right? what do you do? you go back to the fundamentals and ask yourself, "which of these am i not doing?" because if you're doing all of these, it works 100% of the
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time. >> reporter: now it's time to bring the sales boot camp to a close. >> all right. this is the moment of truth. and when i tell you, i want you to walk out. because you really are dead to me. i'm sorry. it's a learning experience. but you didn't make the cut. life is like that. all right. mallory, you're history. i'm sorry. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. it's so tough. michael, you're gone. >> thank you. >> good luck to you. zachary, you're gone. i'm sorry, my friend. >> it's okay. >> good luck to you. >> thank you very much. >> all right. now the hard work begins. let's start by meeting wicked good cupcakes. tracey, dani, come on in here. tracey and dani created this company from scratch. >> congratulations! how exciting. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> every jar has two cupcakes inside.
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>> all across america, this product sells for $7.25. what are you gonna let them sell it for today? >> $5. so, th's a great discount. >> huge selling weapon. >> you need to be able to say our product name correctly. it's a cupcake in a "jaa." can everyone say -- >> cupcake in a "jaa." >> each of you is getting a wicked good cupcake apron. >> reporter: having equipped the contestants with all his knowledge, kevin has them dress for the part. >> and, of course, a chef's hat -- to prove that they're freshly baked. all right? you have everything you need. you know about the product. you know about the five pillars of selling. you've got your outfits. let the games begin. get out there and sell. >> all right. >> whoo! >> all right. >> wicked good cup cakes. >> reporter: up next -- out of the kiddie pool and into the ocean. >> no? >> reporter: but they won't be swimming alone. the shark is in their ear.
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>> command that space. keep the energy up. try to get them to buy two. >> reporter: will the customers bite? >> i have the same exact dog, and she loves cup cakes. 1,100 meals a year... 730 rushed snacks... add 300 stressful decisions... no wonder our digestive system sometimes acts up. so try activia! enjoying activia twice a day for 4 weeks may help reduce the frequency of bloating, gas, discomfort or rumbling. the best part, it tastes great! ♪ dannon
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"20/20" continues, with the secrets of the sell. once again, hannah storm. >> reporter: union square in new york city is in full bloom when our cupcake truck rolls in.
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we've tricked it out with the wicked good cupcakes logo and set up our hidden cameras. the truck is stocked with five flavors of cupcakes. our mother-daughter owners are manning the truck. >> this is where the rubber meets the road. >> reporter: it's time to start selling. the rules are simple -- 30 minutes each, whoever sells the most cupcakes wins. but with a twist. >> i'm throwing in a little bit of a wrinkle. this is a yam flavor. you know what a yam is? it's a potato, basically. >> reporter: our shark dislikes the idea of the sweetie pie cupcake so much, as their biggest investor, he actually tried to kill it off several times without even trying it. >> who wants to eat a sweet potato cupcake? >> reporter: have you ever tried one? >> it's so foreign a concept i wouldn't stick the spoon in the jar. sweet potato? i mean, that's disgusting. >> reporter: but today, potato sales are extra sweet.
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>> if you sell this instead of all the other flavors, you get double points. ashley, you go first, all right? >> yes. >> reporter: game on. inside our control van, kevin is plugged into ashley's brain through an earpiece, giving her realtime direction. >> three, two, one. start selling, ashley. >> are you interested in cupcakes? sweetie pie one if you are really into sweet potatoes. that's a good one. >> reporter: she's already going for the sweet potato? >> i love it. >> reporter: immediately ashley goes for those double yam points. >> actual sea salt. >> starting to invest a lot of time in this guy. >> it's good, i promise you. >> reporter: it's ashley's first test -- "sticky, not gummy"? -- stay or move on? >> he's going for it. >> oh yeah, he's going for his credit card. >> reporter: ashley's first sale. she makes it stick. >> they're $5 a jar. >> reporter: but the clock is still ticking. >> the company was on "shark tank." and kevin o'leary invested in them. >> i remember. >> reporter: then ashley runs into "the balker."
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>> $5 a jar -- but no, no, no, no, wait. >> reporter: a customer put off by the price tag. undeterred by the scoff. >> i'm telling you, once you get hooked -- >> reporter: she lures back in the wallet conscious consumer. >> she closed it. >> reporter: she did it. but just when she's hit her stride, a dry spell. >> hi, would you like to buy a cupcake today? no? cupcakes for sale! >> she's not commanding her space. she's hanging out near the truck. i'm seeing people go by her not even knowing she's there. that's a big problem. wait, wait, she's got something going. >> sweetie pie is awesome. whoo! she just bought three. are you guys trying to buy any cupcakes? >> outstanding! >> good job, girlfriend! >> reporter: but despite her cupcake hat trick, ashley's about to commit one of the biggest sins of sales. >> i can go in, and come back >> reporter: remember kevin's words of wisdom -- >> when they walk away from you, they're gone forever. reporter: then, the sales equivalent of seeing a
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unicorn. >> awesome, yay! you're back! >> oh, my go. that never happens. >> now she's killing it. she's closing every 60 seconds. >> she's gonna be the one to beat, i think. >> three, two one. ashley, it's over. >> reporter: yay, ashley! >> i'm pumped, i'm ready. >> reporter: next up, tommy. >> tommy, you ready? >> i'm ready. cupcake in a "jaa." >> reporter: tommy's off to a rough start. >> it's only five bucks for today too. normally they're $7.25. >> reporter: new yorkers not buying the boston accent. >> cupcakes in a "jaa." >> bad body language. he's not really walking the walk right now.
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maybe he's not being dogged enough. tommy, when you see somebody with a dog, tell 'em dogs love them. >> hey man, i actually have that same exact dog. >> clearly he hasn't learned "stay." >> reporter: customer and canine exit, sans cupcake. >> okay, start barking at these guys. >> selling cupcakes in a jar. wicked good cupcakes, two cupcakes per jar. $5 only today. >> all of a sudden he's got a little momentum back. she's buying! look at this, he's got a monster line appearing. >> reporter: but tommy's forgetting, be kind not nice. >> and when you're done with eating it, you can wash it out and use the mason jar for something, you know? >> reporter: he's being nice. >> yeah, but why? he's wasting his time. they are already gonna buy. >> you know what's even better than an umbrella? >> a cupcake, i know. >> oh, really? >> he's reeling them in! he's reeling them in. unbelievable! >> three, two, one. tommy, shut it down. >> peace. back to boston. >> got it in the bag. >> reporter: time for our final
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contender, looking to walk the walk. it's natasha. >> are you ready to see what i've got? >> okay, natasha, you ready? >> ready. >> you're on. >> we have so many flavors. we're bringing some boston to new york. its cupcake in a "jaa." >> she's tall, she stands out. >> reporter: she's got some swagger. >> use all the weaponry you've got. >> reporter: but despite the weaponry, natasha is missing her targets. >> hi, would you like a cupcake in a "jaa"? >> reporter: whoa, that was a blow off right there. >> that's new york city. >> reporter: until the dapper dude. natasha takes "feel the love" to a whole new level. >> i would get one for you and your sweetie as well. you and your girl. >> she's a killer! >> this one wants sweetie pie and wicked good. him and his girl, he's good news tonight. >> reporter: she sold it! >> sweetie pie. it's made with yam so it's more on the healthier side. >> reporter: still searching for that perfect pitch, natasha turns to health? >> most popular is the sweetie pie, it's like very guilt free. >> guilt free, that's a new line.
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guilt free. sure, there's no calories in it. >> reporter: who's gonna fall for that? >> you only have 11 minutes. keep the energy up. >> reporter: i feel like she's running a little out of steam. the once busy sidewalk, now barren. she's gotta switch it up. >> you know what, natasha, grab one of the jars and hold it in your hand. >> reporter: using the shiny jars to direct traffic. >> love your dress, by the way. we don't give samples because they're so good. >> reporter: as the clock runs down, her line builds up. >> and she's reaching into her pocket. whoo! natasha, one minute left. >> you want a cupcake? straight from "shark tank." leaving in one minute. i think you need a cupcake in your life. >> three, two, one. natasha, it's over for you. >> reporter: and that's a wrap. give yourself a hand. okay, so here's what we're gonna do. kevin's gone. we're gonna go tally everything up.
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we're gonna meet up again. we'll announce the winner. will the winner be ashley, tommy, or natasha? >> hey. >> how are you? >> good. >> it's really a time to celebrate. i think all three of you did some unique things -- good and bad. all right, ashley. all the energy you had, you would just jump out there and get going. and that's exactly what happened. on the negative, you didn't go to the middle of the sidewalk and use the advantage of commanding that space. >> are you looking at cupcakes today? >> tommy, your laid-back attitude was very honest, open. you were barking it out there. you had that thing going. "jah by the cah," the whole boston thing. natasha, you commanded the sidewalk and you were good at the whole sticky versus gummy. so somebody won and two lost.
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hannah? >> reporter: tommy was the winner. look at this. all right. here you go. >> sweet. >> congratulations. >> winner of the "20/20" sales challenge. tommy. but we're not done just yet. remember what kevin said about that sweet potato cupcake? >> sweet potato? i mean, that's disgusting. >> reporter: we challenge the shark to take a bite. this is sweetie pie. >> this product scares me. >> reporter: opportunity. i just -- you gotta taste it and -- >> mm. wow. it's not bad. >> reporter: going in for the second spoonful. see, it's not bad. >> it's actually very, very tasty. >> reporter: so you'll -- you'll concede that maybe -- >> i was wrong about this one. pretty good. >> cheers. >> number one rule. great salesmen and women understand that it's their
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destiny to be a salesperson and to be great. when we come back, inside the mary kay cosmetics sales empire. >> are you ready for the most exciting night of your life? >> the women that love it. and some left it. and how do they get those pink cadillacs? next, on the secrets of the sell. so you can peek into stuff. and pop stuff open. which changes how you play a song. read a text. read an email. read the news. wait, you read the news? kid: yep of course you do. now you can change apps like this. pay at more places like this. and the new color looks like this... it's rose gold, it's awesome. and siri is more helpful than ever. bill hader: hey siri, show me photos of tortellini. siri: here are some images of tortellini...
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it's an army some 600,000 strong in the u.s. alone. their favorite vehicle, pink cadillacs, of course. it's mary kay cosmetics and its legion of sellers and buyers. but some saying their experience wasn't all pretty in pink.
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here's rebecca jarvis. >> are you ready for the most exiting night of your life? >> reporter: musical performances, sashes and crowns, and an amped-up audience that can't seem to get enough. this scene has all the glamor and glory of the miss america pageant. but this is no beauty contest. it is a celebration of sales. welcome to awards night at "seminar," the annual convention of the iconic cosmetics and skin care company mary kay. >> we're a global company in over 35 markets worldwide. and we sell our products through a direct sales business model. >> reporter: direct sales. that means mary kay doesn't sell its products in stores or online, but through independent beauty consultants like kelly johnsrud, who sell to friends, family, and anyone they meet. >> our mary kay eyeliner, like, once it's on, it's really on.
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just blend it in. >> reporter: skin care classes like this. women sitting around a dining room table are the foundation of the company's $4 billion sales empire. >> that is your shade. >> reporter: the cosmetics colossus was founded 53 years ago by mary kay ash, recognized as a titan of american entrepreneurship. and mary kay products from lip gloss to eyeliner have been recognized for their quality. >> a lot of you are already, like, in love with some of these products. and that's how i feel, too. >> reporter: the company's website promotes the chance to sign up as "a great part-time choice or a lucrative full-time opportunity if you choose." kelly grew up as a mary kay kid. >> my mom started her business when i was 7 years old. >> reporter: this is the only career she's known. but fellow sales directors ryan rives and lyris patterson worked corporate jobs before joining mary kay. in part because of the flexibility it offers working moms.
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>> we're going to make a product delivery, it's to one of my great friends. >> reporter: with mary kay you really start there, with the friends, the family, the relatives. and sometimes that can be a little awkward. >> working with family and friends can be comfortable, if you are upfront and have great communication and expectations going in. >> reporter: the company's founder provided some guidance for her sales force. >> she charged us with walking into a skin care class or a facial and acting like they had a sign around their neck that says "make me feel important." >> okay. and you look gorgeous this morning. >> thank you. >> reporter: and these women are not just selling cosmetics. but a business opportunity that's because consultants make money not just on product sales. they can rise in the ranks by signing up other people to join the team. you get a commission whenever your recruits order product. >> a woman who was at a party two weeks ago stopped me and said, "i want to talk to you about the promotion mary kay is doing in september." so, potentially signing up to do the business.
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>> reporter: plus, once 24 people sign up, you're on your way to one of these. pink cadillacs. custom designed just for mary kay. each of these three success stories drives one. >> it's obviously the most famous trophy on wheels and it's a lot of fun. >> it's like a representation of the american dream on the road. and i think a lot of people know that. >> reporter: that's just one of the awards consultants can earn. >> this one is for my own personal sales, the queen's court of sharing. >> reporter: and at seminar there's even a throne! >> and you may not think you would like that, rebecca, but let me tell you when you're on the stage and there is an adoring audience cheering for you, you get into it. >> reporter: unlike other businesses, a mary kay consultancy doesn't cost much to launch. just a hundred bucks for a starter kit. >> you know, one of the things that was most important to mary
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kay was that she create a low-cost way for a woman to own her own business and be her own boss. >> reporter: mary kay's buy back policy offers 90% refunds for all inventory purchased within the last 12 months. >> if i didn't love it and if i couldn't find my way of doing it then i had a little bit of a safety net. >> reporter: today mary kay claims a worldwide sales force of 3.5 million. and it's easy to find women who rave about the company. what's harder is to get answers to the kind of question you hear all the time on "shark tank." >> what's your profit on that? >> reporter: what did you make, in your very best year? >> you know what? i would have to look. >> reporter: you don't know? >> because we have the freedom and flexibility to ramp it up when we want to ramp it up, and ramp it down when we want to ramp it down. i would have to look actually. >> reporter: do you know, lyris? >> yes, it was well over $100,000. >> what was it after expenses?
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>> it was still extremely profitable. >> reporter: what did you make last year with mary kay? >> i would have to look. i am not to six figures yet. >> if i don't know my exact numbers, it's because i'm really focusing on what my day is like. >> reporter: as for mary kay corporate, in its magazine "applause," the company touts the whopping commission checks. but it is determined not to reveal what kind of income you can expect if you choose to go for that "lucrative, full time opportunity." >> we're very careful not to share averages because it really depends on each individual circumstance. and the vast majority of women, they're interested in earning a little extra income for their families. >> reporter: but if i'm a mom and i need to put food on my table and i'm thinking about going this direction, i wanna know, can i support my family on this? >> i think if you look at it,
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you realize that you buy the product at a 50% discount, you sell it at a suggested retail price. so typically if you pay $7 for the product, you sell it for $14. you know what that gross profit is going to be. >> reporter: the company has a great story to tell but these former mary kay consultants are about to tell a less glossy version. >> we would go to the mall. we would go, oh. >> reporter: stay with us. unitedhealthcare insurance company, go long. of course, how you plan is up to you. take healthcare. make sure you're covered for more than what just medicare pays... consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company... you might give this a try... the only medicare supplement plans that carry the aarp name, and the ones that millions of people trust year after year. plan well. enjoy life. go long. wow! this toilet paper rnew charmin ultra strong, dude.
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once again, rebecca jarvis, and more of "20/20"'s the secrets of the sell. >> reporter: she could barely contain her glee up on stage at this event. as a sales director, she even
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painted her walls pink. today, she looks back on those days with disappointment. any business will have its detractors. this website has stories of lynn and other women that said they left their jobs to do mary kay full-time. and they hoped to make big bucks. yet all left, years disappointed. >> i may have to go to 8, 9, 10 people. >> we could go to the mall. we would go to starbucks. you got to the grocery store, trying to meet people to, to sell them mary kay. and not just sell them, but sell them on a business eventually.
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>> reporter: where do they say most of their income came from? >> recruiting. >> recruiting. >> recruiting. >> reporter: and when they couldn't make their numbers? they say they would sometimes order extra product just to maintain their status. the cars, the applause washing over them on stage at seminar. >> and if your team falls short, if you don't want to lose your directorship, you kick in that extra money and you get that extra product. yeah, and make that happen. >> reporter: candice santomauro, a software engineer when she joined mary kay, says she was a step away from the top tier in the company. but then, she started feeling ashamed of how she'd gotten there. >> i encouraged people to place orders in order for us to make our numbers. you have people doing crazy things, recruiting their grandmother. ordering lots of product so that they can be honored for that and recognized for that at seminar. >> reporter: candice was even recognized in "applause" magazine. and yet she walked away from mary kay in 2007. >> i was earning income for the
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most part on the backs of other women. and i saw with my own two eyes the warehousing of the product. meaning they had basements full of it or closets full of it or garages full of it. >> that shocks me to hear that. >> reporter: how do you know the product isn't ending up in people's basements? >> oh trust me, rebecca, we know that women love to buy mary kay products over and over again. >> reporter: the company says tens of millions of dollars of consultant orders are shipped directly to consumers every year. even so, take a look at this. inventory from a consultant who is leaving the company. she agreed to show us boxes of product she said she bought to keep her status. >> on the rare occasion that we do hear that someone has purchased more than they can sell, we absolutely address that and make sure that they know they have the opportunity to utilize the 90% buyback. that's important. >> reporter: but note, any bonuses and prizes based on you ordering those products will be deducted.
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so, what's it like to attend a mary kay guest event as a prospective consultant? we wanted to see for ourselves so we showed up at this recent event with hidden cameras. we walk into a room full of people. mostly women. there's a festive mood. music, food, beverages. >> give yourself a round of applause. >> reporter: we are later invited to check out the cars outside. this pink cadillac grabs our attention. we are even invited to sit inside. >> and it's got memory seat, so check this out, girl. >> reporter: walking around, we heard this. >> free mary kay cars. free. >> what do you mean, free? >> free. i have my fifth free car and you get them free, tax, title, tags, insurance, covered. gas is a write off. it's free. you sign your name and drive away. you start a mary kay business and it's a hundred dollars to get started and when you have five team members, you are on target for a free car.
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it's that simple. so, as long as you're working there's a production but it's so simple to do when you have a team. >> reporter: it depends on your definition of simple. to earn the lowest level car, a chevy cruise, a consultant must build a 14-member team that orders $20,000 in wholesale over four months. to drive that coveted pink cadillac srx, first you need 24 unit members to become a sales director, then $102,000 worth of unit wholesale orders over six months. and if you don't maintain required production levels, there's a co-pay. later insidewe sat down with another director. unlike the people we interviewed at mary kay, she had no problem telling us how much money we could expect to earn. >> if you have five or six hours, you could literally make $500 to $600. >> a week? >> absolutely, that is just in sales. >> just from five or six hours? >> reporter: wow. that's $100 an hour?
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>> right, because what you're doing is you're holding parties who get half of what you sell. >> that's a weekend? >> a party is about an hour and a half or two hours and the average party for a new person is $200. so if you hold three of those week, that's $600, right? you're going to make half. that's $300, okay? >> reporter: but corporate says you cant take that number to the bank. and it's a no-no for sales directors to make those claims. >> again, i'll tell you anytime i hear someone talking about averages, i can tell you with certainty, that's not the way we teach people to talk about the mary kay business and it's -- >> reporter: why do you think it's happening, then? >> well, i wasn't there, you know, wasn't involved in the event. i'd hate to speculate. but you know, people make mistakes sometimes. we are all human. >> reporter: you don't have to
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see much to see that these women are getting much more than commissions. comradery, and for some, the pink cadillac. how hard would you be willing to work for all that? that's for you to decide. coming up -- it was picture perfect on the box. >> you guys ready to see this pool? >> but not so much in reality. >> i thought it was going to be bigger. >> watch us deflate those overblown claims. >> that's not a sale. >> next. used to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. are you getting this?! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling, burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. oh, epic moves, big j! fight it! getting ready for your close-up? ask your doctor
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sfx: stomach growling now i feel better. mmm yoplait
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seriously? i'll grab get ready to save. love the honey nut cheerios. the safeway stock up sale is on. now with your club card, select general mills cereals are 2 for $4. progresso vegetable classics soup, 10 for $10. and foster farms whole chicken, 99¢ a pound. honey, can you bring the truck? the safeway stock up sale. it's just better. great change comes from doing the right thing. like the radical idea that health isn't an industry. it's a cause. so we do things differently. we combine care and coverage.
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and believe prevention is the most powerful of cures. so forgive us for not going with the flow. we just think the flow should go with us. which makes us rebels with one cause. your health. over the last year on "20/20," we've covered everything from misleading and fake products to those advertising for them. and big boasts, versus the bitter reality. so tonight, how not to get
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fooled. once again, rebecca jarvis. >> reporter: we're blowing up these banzai brand kiddie pools to show that what you see isn't always what you get. and while their boxes list actual dimensions, the fun filled photo is what grabbed these 4 to 6-year-olds' attention. spacious and full of kids. >> 3, 4, 5, 6. >> reporter: but they're about to get a grown-up lesson about a shady sales tactic -- the photo fakeout. >> people will lie and exaggerate. and you have to be able to recognize it. >> reporter: advertising critic bob garfield warns, shopper beware of these tactics. as for our group -- they've now seen this photo that was once used on the banzai wild waves water park box. so, how did it match up against the real thing? >> okay, are you guys ready to see this pool? >> yeah. never mind. >> reporter: okay. bad start. still, they make the best of it.
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splashing and playing. then try to go down the slide. in the photo, notice the child has plenty of room to throw her hands in the air. but in reality -- >> i'm too big for this. >> to put your arms up you'd have to be like my baby brother. >> how old is your baby brother? >> three months. >> i thought it was going to be bigger. >> but it's actually not, it's smaller. >> reporter: anyone who's outgrown their underoos needs to know about this next shady ploy. the sale fail. exhibit "a," these signs were pushing great deals in hobby lobby stores. >> that looks fabulous. >> 50% off. >> i would be willing to buy that, yes. >> reporter: not so fast, said the new york attorney general. these supposedly sensational sales were actually offered every single day, for at least a year. >> how can it always be 50% off the marked price? >> that's not a sale. >> that's a little misleading.
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>> reporter: while not admitting guilt, hobby lobby paid a $220,000 settlement last june. >> hobby lobby -- kind of sloppy lobby. they got themselves caught. >> reporter: and here's another sale fail. >> if you want to stay warm and cuddly, it's time to get on your snuggie. >> that's right! >> reporter: even if you would actually wear a snuggie in public, you could have the wool pulled over your eyes if you aren't paying attention. >> call right now. we'll give you a second snuggie and book light free. just pay processing and handling. >> reporter: $20 for two. great deal, until you're hit with $16 more in processing and handling fees. the company agreed to refund customers and say they believed they complied with the law. >> that's right! >> reporter: our next secret of the sell? the tiny type hiding behind big hype. like this sears ad. promising an "extra 15% off all appliances with sears card."
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you're ready to shop. >> i am. >> reporter: do you want to see the fine print first? >> yes. let's do that. >> reporter: well, clear your schedule, because as the website found last year, there's a sea of fine print below that "15% off all." >> excludes jenair, kenmore over, ranges. >> it keeps going on and on. >> all of these are exclusions? what can i buy? >> reporter: sears quickly corrected what they called an "inadvertent error." next, a new twist on an old trick. the bait and switch. when ashley madison, that website for affair-seeking adults, was recently hacked, know what else was revealed? that tens of thousands of female profiles were -- sorry, dudes, fembots. invented by crafty computer programmers. another dating site with a slippery sales come-on?
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flirtcrowd. the ftc said the site had baited men with the promise of meeting thousands of women, for free. and once they signed up, the messages started flowing from sexy singles. >> looking for some fun. loves to meet hot guys. would like to try anything at least once. my faith and my conservative values are huge parts of who i am. this lady has the dirtiest picture i've ever seen. but try to read their tempting messages? then flirtcrowd pulled the switch. it tells me i have to upgrade to read this message. that upgrade from free could cost as much as $77 a year. >> free is not always free. sometimes it's the most expensive thing you do that day. >> reporter: and what fun-seeking females did we meet when we did pay? 37 women contacted us, but all were fake. flirtcrowd called them "virtual cupids," marked by that tiny
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logo. but you might not have known they were fake unless you read the fine print the government made them add, warning "virtual cupids" are not real people. >> why would i want to flirt with a virtual person? >> reporter: the ftc fined flirtcrowd $600,000, though the company didn't admit guilt. they told us they have many real-life female members, and offer refunds to anyone left confused. some companies make a joke out of their ad claims. like ikea's 50-cent hot dogs? not the actual size as the one on the banner. but when it's not a joke, why would some advertisers risk pushing the limits of truth? >> people roll the dice. be a little bit sleazy, and pay a little bit of a fine. and in the meantime, you reap the rewards. >> reporter: but sometimes it backfires. the pool's distributor, manley toys, has to pay $8.5 million after losing a deceptive packaging lawsuit in 2013.
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and they've changed the boxes to make them more realistic. as for our kids, despite being packed in that pool like sardines, they still managed to squeeze some fun out of the afternoon. wow mary, is like, every mom from the neighborhood here? look at them all... ...'judgie'. see? you are looking good! using bounce dryer sheets is paying off. your clothes have fewer wrinkles, and static cling... ...ain't bringing you down. oh! and look, it's that ms.brooke-thinks-she's-all-that- and-a-bag-of-chips. good thing you brought your a-game. your a-game. bounce, the 4 in 1 dryer sheet. get your bounce on.
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i'm gellin' and zinfandellin'. and so is my new bride, helen mcmellin' i'm so happy my eyes are wellin' dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles are so soft they make your feet feel outrageously comfortable. i'm gellin you're so not gellin' dr. scholl's many wbut come with high hopes, doesn't work on wrinkles. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair has the fastest retinol formula... to work on fine lines and even deep wrinkles in just one week. neutrogena®. befi was active.gia, i was a doer. then the chronic, widespread pain slowed me down. my doctor and i agreed that moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. for some patients, lyrica significantly relieves fibromyalgia pain and improves physical function. with less pain, i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression
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or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. fibromyalgia may have changed things. but with less pain, i'm still a doer. ask your doctor about lyrica. and that's our program for tonight. thanks for watching. i'm david muir. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas. from all of us here at abc news and "20/20," have a great night and a great weekend.
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two more jailers are facing charges tonight. >> next a live report and new information about what they're


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