Talking Mary Kay Consultants Out of Returning Inventory

Written by TRACY on . Posted in Inventory & Selling, Quitting Mary Kay

Here’s a tried and true method of talking a consultant out of returning her inventory. We wouldn’t want her to do that! After all, the sales director will get a commission chargeback if the consultant returns her products.

We are all well aware of Mary Kay’s 90% buyback policy, whereby an independent consultant or sales director can return inventory purchased within the last year for 90% of its wholesale value. (Details here.)

Often, this is touted as some big privilege, and one of the many reasons recruits should sign up with Mary Kay. They are being offered a “no risk” opportunity with a wonderful company that is oh-so generous to the consultants. (Well there really is a risk, isn’t there, when you consider the 10% lost, the cost of supplies, the cost of shipping, the cost of interest on your credit card, etc?)

Yet when the time comes for a consultant to say “so long” to Mary Kay Cosmetics and exercise this option, the sales directors try everything in their power to talk them out of it! Of course, it’s not because they’re really looking out for the well-being of the consultant and her family, is it? It is more likely because the sales director doesn’t want to have to pay back the commission on the returned inventory (known as a commission chargeback).

I’m told that this is the script that Allison LaMarr and Lisa Allison usee to help talk consultants out of returning their inventory:

Dealing with Product Return and Commission Chargeback

***The Most important thing to remember is to ask lots of questions. You’ve got to ask questions.***

*What do you remember @ the excitement you felt when you first signed your agreement? (Write down what they say. Don’t let them get into “buts”. Repeat the question if you have to. You are going to bring them back to their “why” later)

She needs to feel needed:

*We’ve been friends a long time. I need your friendship and MK aside our friendship will stand. (If friends)

*When did your feelings about things change?

*Did your dreams change, did your “why” change, or do you think you just ran up against some obstacles and got frustrated?

*I could tell you horror stories about consultants who returned their products and closed that door forever and then something changed in their life and for some reason they needed MK. I don’t want that to happen to you. You know, forever is a long time.

Concerning commission chargeback:

*If you were the President of MK and you paid a consultant commission on an order that one of her team members placed and then that team member turned around and returned the product, wouldn’t you ask for the commission back on those items? What would you do? MK is so generous to us but this is a business. They have to make smart and sensible business decisions.

*Think about this… If you were in my shoes – if you were and Director, and a consultant added her very first team member, do you think I should say at that time, “Congratulations, but I just want you to know that the consultant can return her products at any time and you will have to pay that commission back.” What would you do?

*You know, MK is so good about making sure we have all the information we need about the business to be successful, but it is our responsibility to read the print. It’s all there (Career Essentials-pg.17) but we have to take advantage of it.

*I’m a new Director. What could I do differently or better in the future?

***If she still insists on returning her products, have an exit interview with her in person.***

***The following information was received from a Consultant who sold back product and has given permission to forward her words to others. You can send a letter or E-mail with the following:

Allison,

That would be absolutely fine. Please let consultants who are considering returning product know that they may be giving up their future… take it from someone who knows! If I can help even one person turn their attitude around before I did, that would be worth it!

Take care-
xxxxxxxxxx

From: xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2005 11:09 AM
To: allison
Subject: A greeting and apology

Hi Allison,

Remember me? xxxxxxxxxx?

I would like to start this letter with an apology. I know that I alone can not make or break your business, but I also know that when I returned product it took away from your production and caused you to have to return some commissions paid, and for that I am truly sorry.

This has been a roller coaster year for me. I have spent the last couple of months looking back over my previous mistakes and failures. I have been upset with myself over giving up so quickly and so easily. In looking back, I see how I allowed the opinion of certain negative influences to dictate my actions. I take full responsibility. The sign of a successful person is not that they have never failed, but that they have failed many times and always continued to try. Unfortunately, I quit before I even gave myself a chance to get back on the horse after only one fall.

I regret with all of my being that I will never have the opportunity to know where I could have taken my Mary Kay career. Sending back product was the equivalent of saying, “I am a failure. I do not want to succeed. I quit. I give up. I will not put in the work necessary to reap the rewards.” If there was any way to take back that action, I surely would.

What all of this has taught me is that I do not want to be that person. I have continued to watch your future national area expand and I wish I were still a part of that team. You and the women in your future national area are on fire! What an incredible opportunity I missed to be associated with positive, go-getting woman!

While you do not know it, you have continued to influence me. I have realized that in order to become the woman I know God made me to be, I have to emulate the strong, successful women. So thank you, Allison, for being a role model. Thank you for showing me and countless others what determination, integrity, and perseverance can do.

If the Mary Kay rule book ever changes and allows for those who returned product to acknowledge the error of their ways and be a part of the company again, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue to use the lessons I have learned from this experience and from you to hopefully find an incredible opportunity to grow and shine…though, I do not believe there is another opportunity as wonderful as I one I so quickly gave up. I wish you and James and your area all the best God has to offer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wow! I guess Allison and Lisa covered it all. Make her feel needed. Reminder her that you’re friends (yeah, right). Give her a little guilt about your commission chargeback. Make sure she knows she’s a loser and quitter if she returns her inventory. Remind her of how she won’t be in our little sorority if she quits. Make her think her dreams won’t come true without Mary Kay. Bravo, ladies. Quite the performance.

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Comments (25)

  • Oney Jones

    |

    “*I could tell you horror stories about consultants who returned their products and closed that door forever and then something changed in their life and for some reason they needed MK. I don’t want that to happen to you. You know, forever is a long time.”

    Riiiiigghhht. “Horror stories” ???? Puuhleeze. Drop the drama at the door sweetie.

    Of all the women posting on Pink Truth I’ve not come up against ONE who wishes she’d not ‘closed that door forever.’ That door forever closed was my salvation. I knew I’d NEVER be tempted to fall for the pink bs again no matter how desperate I became.

    As it stands? I’ve never thought once about getting back in–even after the newsletter from my NSD arrived in the mail (8 years after I terminated my agreement) with a hand-written note telling me that if I ever decided to get back in she could make it happen.

    The day they come up with a real horror story about “shutting that door forever” is the same day they’ll come up with a real Schedule C that shows the bottom line.

    Reply

    • exIBC78

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      Then tell them top me Allison? Can I have their names and phone numbers so I can see how bad off they are?

      Reply

  • Lazy Gardens

    |

    About the 90% buy-back: Often, this is touted as some big privilege, and one of the many reasons recruits should sign up with Mary Kay.

    It is required by Texas law … that’s the real reason they do it, and probably the only one.

    Reply

    • Jen G.

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      Wow. I did not know that. I didn’t even bother with the return of my products. I decided to donate it to an abused womens’/drug rehab center and got a tax break, which I am sure was better than the “90%” refund.

      Reply

  • MLM Radar Detector

    |

    This “greeting and apology” letter makes me nauseous. It just screams FAKE LETTER!!!

    Perfect grammar and punctuation. Perfect spelling. Perfect paragraph alignment. Perfect demonstration of an advanced vocabulary. Perfect use of active voice. Perfect mix of self-denegrating regret with butt-kissing praise for the Mary Kay goddess. I wish the administrative specialists I’ve met could write half this well. Heck, I wish professional resume writers could write this well.

    This was obviously written by someone who will never have any trouble getting an excellent job… in the Mary Kay Corporate marketing department.

    Oh yes, and about that B. S. idea that she burned her bridges forever? Mary Kay is all about “find a way or make a way,” so if any IBC ever did come crawling back to her Director this, crying like a whipped puppy, you can bet the Director would “find a way” to get her back in. After all, they already do that all the time by reactivating IBCs (whether the IBCs know it or not) when they’re frantically trying to keep their unit numbers up.

    Reply

    • enorth

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      I agree…it’s fake. Very contrived and too well-written.

      Reply

  • Kinzie

    |

    Shameful and duplicitous. Everywhere you turn in MK there is a new catch. When they first woo someone into MK they tell her that anyone can succeed in MK; they have a rebuttal for every objection to why she doens’t feel she is MK material. Then, if a consultant decides to leave (aka fail, didn’t work her business..blah blah blah), she may be told that MK isn’t for everyone. HOWEVER…..if she wants to return her drek under the 90% buyback she is told that she NEEDS MK and will be throwing away her dreams, her future. They keep you confused so you don’t know what is what and must rely on them to tell you what to do.
    __________

    ****Think about this… If you were in my shoes – if you were and Director, and a consultant added her very first team member, do you think I should say at that time, “Congratulations, but I just want you to know that the consultant can return her products at any time and you will have to pay that commission back.” What would you do?

    YES!! Yes I do think you should say that!! Ummmm….isn’t it due diligence to present all of the facts before letting someone sign up? Oh my gosh! Why wouldn’t you tell a prospect that??? It is one of the costs of doing business. But the fact is that MK doesn’t want prospective consultants to know the “negative” details of the business, just how successful and rich they are going to be.___
    __________________

    ****I could tell you horror stories about consultants who returned their products

    What if she didn’t know of any horror stories? Is she still supposed to say that (aka…lying)?

    __________________

    *****….and for some reason they needed MK. I don’t want that to happen to you. You know, forever is a long time.

    As if there is nothing else in the world that someone could ever be successful at? Is God lying to them by saying they should leave MK and return their inventory. Maybe the devil is attacking the director by giving her a chargeback.

    I hope this article and the ACTUAL QUOTES from these NSDs will be an eyeopener for someone in the pink fog.

    Reply

  • Lazy Gardens

    |

    Think about this… If you were in my shoes – if you were a Director, and a consultant added her very first team member, do you think I should say at that time, “Congratulations, but I just want you to know that the consultant can return her products at any time and you will have to pay that commission back.” What would you do?

    If I were the consultant, I’d say “Why the $^@@!#$ didn’t you tell me that before you helped me persuade her to make a $4800 inventory order?!?!?

    Reply

  • bellaone

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    Of course no one is closing the door forever on an MK opportunity if a consultant sends their product back, Corp has plenty of opportunities during the course of the seminar year to reactivate old consultants. Please.

    Reply

  • NoPinkCar4Me

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    I am dealing with this with my Director/Recruiter/Friend, and, YES!

    She DID throw me the line on how my friendship means the world to her, and further iced it by I should let her help me do a sale so I could get at least wholesale back, because, “you know, it will be 90 days before you get your money and I know you will be wanting it faster than that.”

    Yeah, I need my $$$$ back, but I don’t want to drag this crap out until she tries to help me sell my stuff. I can actually imagine we can drag this out a few more months and then go and toss it all because the initial order items will have expired.

    I was born in the afternoon, babe, but not YESTERDAY afternoon. :)

    Reply

    • kinzie

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      Is she implying that if you quit MK that she can no longer be friends with you? If so, then how can it mean the world to her?

      Reply

      • Pam

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        Wish I had seen this site BEFORE I signed up.
        I am sure once I do the return I won’t hear from any of the women anymore.

        Reply

    • MLM Radar Detector

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      How pathetic. Not only is your director/recruiter/BFF totally unconcerned about you, she is trying to destroy the selling efforts of all her other IBC/BFFs just to keep from taking a commission chargeback on you. What a wonderful wise friend she is!

      Think about it. If you hold a sale and sell all your stuff to everyone in the neighborhood for wholesale price (or less), what does that do to your sister consultants who were hoping to make a profit?

      Simple! It drops a bomb in their market. It tells all those bargain-hunting potential buyers that if they’re just patient they can get all the Mary Kay makeup they want for dirt-cheap prices. The director has just established a new local area “going rate” for Mary Kay products, and it’s low low low.

      This, of course, starts a domino-effect ugly downward spiral. No one can sell at a profit when someone is selling the same stuff below cost. So more IBCs fail to cover their expenses and quit, whereupon they are also encouraged to sell off their stuff below cost instead of returning it, which leads to the failure of even more IBCs.

      The long run effect is that the your penny-wise and pound-foolish director/recruiter/BFF (NOT!) risks watching her whole unit go down the open drain, for the sake of a few commission chargebacks she didn’t want to eat.

      Reply

      • NoPinkCar4Me

        |

        You guys are absolutely right!

        All I know is that it would be amazingly cool to finally close the door on this experience and put it behind me.

        Take me off the mailing list, keep me out of the conference call loop, I don’t need voice mails reminding me that you want to help me sell my product, just STOP already.

        I have ENOUGH already going on in my life, I don’t need the added drama!

        Reply

  • selina

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    I returned product and I tried to get back in but corp sent me a letter saying rules are rules and I could never get back in.

    I did it just to see what would happen. It is weird how some can and some can’t.

    Reply

    • CdnXMK

      |

      Selina, I’ll bet if a director or NSD had made the request on your behalf, the result would have been different.

      Reply

  • SSH

    |

    hey, you should ask your director if she’d like to purchase your inventory at 50% off herself or it’s going back today. Haha, see if she squirms to help sell it or if she purchases it. But serioulsly say you need the money by tonight or it’s being shipped first thing in the morning. Even if she promises to help sell or buy it hersself, I would ship it off the next day anyway. don’t let her drag it out.

    Reply

    • Tee

      |

      Lmao good idea, what a conundrum!

      Reply

  • Scrib

    |

    “So thank you, Allison, for being a role model. Thank you for showing me and countless others what determination, integrity, and perseverance can do.”

    Yes, former NSD Allison Lamarr, thank you for showing me and countless others that – in the end – all your determination, “integrity,” and perseverance resulted in your QUITTING Mary Kay and openly admitting to all that you were a “frustrated entrepreneur.” But remember, you said “The only way to fail is to quit,” right? Guess that applied to everyone in MK except her.

    It’s funny, Lamarr said in lawsuit documents that she was quitting MK to “…focus on [her] personal passion of empowering all women in business,” and that she will be “better equipped to serve this purpose as an individual without being actively involved in a particular organization.”

    Uh-huh. And then Lamarr went and got actively involved in the particular organization of Bellamora, which she also quit.

    Reply

  • Nomore_Pink

    |

    I decided after a couple of short months and just feeling uneasy about all of the deceitful ways of getting leads, and the stupid skincare classes, and dishing out all of the money for the weekly classes, and beauty bars, I threw in the towel. I spent a lot of money on skincare, with the hopes of having “leads” through the Mary Kay website”. What a joke that was. I had one bogus lead, and that was when I first signed up.

    Last week I decided that I was going to stop selling Mary Kay so I called the District Office and told them I wanted them to send me the Repurchase forms. They did tell me that they would call my sales director. The next day I got a voicemail and a text from her. I did not respond. I knew what it was about. The next day I received a couple of e-mails and a couple more texts and a couple of more voicemails saying that we need to make an educated decision together. Well, I already know what my educated decision is….send my products back and get my money back. She then sent me another text saying she didn’t understand why I haven’t called her back. I’m not calling back for her trying to trick me into keeping my products.

    No one wants to buy this stuff. The majority of people want to purchase skincare in the department stores. That is if they have money to spend. Those that don’t, usually buy skincare from Target, Walmart, or even Costco.

    My products are all packed up, my forms are filled out, and only need to put a shipping label, etc. This is the end of my MLM career!

    Reply

    • MK Taints the Color Pink

      |

      Nomore_pink, welcome to PT!

      I don’t know how fogged your director is, but you may want to write her a sincere letter about your experience and why you are leaving. You may strike a chord. I understand you not wanting to hear her try to change your mind, so make sure you end it with, “participating in MK is not in my family’s best interest. Please respect my decision.” You can tell her never to contact you again or you will consider it harassment.

      Don’t forget to change all of your customers’ information on InTouch so your director doesn’t contact them. Then cancel your consultant number.

      Reply

  • Jessica

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    What does MK Corpse do with returned inventory from consultants? Please don’t tell me they resell it! Ew.

    Reply

    • Enorth

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      They resell it. Ew.

      Reply

      • Missy C

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        There are reports of new consultants getting product orders with old consultant’s peel-off name labels still on them.

        Reply

  • Tigger

    |

    Isn’t it interesting how when you are signing up for MK, you are hit with the infamous line right out of the mouth of the MK Garden-of-Eden snake – “Do you REALLY need your husband’s permission? It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.” (evil)

    Then when you make the rational business decision to exercise your right to return product (you know, what you so firmly told her husband she could do to get him to let her sign up and order BIG), suddenly you need your SD permission to do so. Isn’t it STILL easier to get forgiveness?

    I wouldn’t pick up the phone if the damned thing was on fire. Let her feel your financial discomfort for a while.

    I am so over making myself miserable doing things to make other people happy. I absolutely love my time alone. Don’t need every freaking waking moment in contact with someone else.

    There is incredible freedom eating out alone, shopping alone, just being alone. It’s restorative.

    Reply

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