An Attempt at Being a “Personal Use” Mary Kay Consultant

A note sent by one of our readers…

I stumbled on your website a few weeks ago and get a kick out of all the stories everyone has and am too horrified about the debt people put themselves into for MK.
One of my coworkers (an IBC herself) talked me into going to one of the events to “pamper” myself, but of course it was a recruiting event after we put all the product on ourselves.  Not having a big social circle or any interest into going into business for myself, it was pretty easy to say no.
I did like one of the lipsticks I tried on that night so my friend had me over to her place a few days later and we did have a good time playing with the makeup and I bought quite a bit of product.  Repeat one more time and that’s when she talked me into signing up as a personal use consultant.  I thought it was odd since I had purchased $200 worth of “stuff” from her that she would want me to have access to the IBC price and she would lose the sales she was making from me.  Doing the math, though, I figured it would work out better for me so I signed up.
My director of course was on the phone about a week later with me, trying to talk me into buying tons of inventory.  I kept saying “no, I’m personal use only” and politely refusing her offer to help me set up my first skin care classes even though I kept telling her I wasn’t interested in selling it, just using it for myself.  Every once in awhile I would get calls asking if I wanted to buy more inventory or join in at an event or had I heard about the latest and greatest or my 11 month commitment was up again.
This year, though, I really thought about how much that “$200” order cost me.  It was nice to buy all my skincare and makeup for the year (at half price!) and be done with it.  What got left out of the “personal use” spin when I signed up was I had to pay 15% on my $200 order since sales tax is 7.5% and of course sales tax is charged on retail, not wholesale.  Then, it was $8 for shipping.  My personal use order is now closer to $250, and it was always a struggle to come up with $200 of wholesale products for myself.   I had to add in things I probably wouldn’t have bought anyway just to get my minimum.
About the time my 11 month timeline was coming up and I had enough product for another few months, I was searching the internet to find out how I could rejoin MK later down the road if I decided to and that’s when I came across Pink Truth.  Even having a small stockpile of product for my personal use was getting to be a little overwhelming; I can’t imagine how that must be for active MKers feeling pressured to sell sell sell.  As a personal use IBC, I feel so much better being able to just go to Touch of Pink (free shipping on my _$100_ order and no sales tax!) or ebay and get just what I need.  Also, I don’t cringe every time my home phone rings because I know it won’t be my pushy director calling and straining to make small talk before pressuring me into ordering when I just didn’t need anything.
Overall, I really do like the skincare and the foundations and use them on a daily basis.  But, I don’t need to sink $250+ once a year for products that can be had for a true half price of MK retail if I search hard enough.  Also, I’m not tied to all MK products all the time just because I would get 50% off!
Do I feel bad I’m obtaining product from other women’s missteps in MK?  Yes, I would say that I do.  But, until MK either drops their prices or turns their focus away from making every new consultant order too much inventory for their needs, sites like TOP and eBay will continue to be an outlet for these IBCs to dump their inventory they cannot return and I can get my product at a more reasonable price.