Talking Mary Kay Consultants Out of Returning Inventory

16220240Here’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 Lisa Allison uses 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:

Hi [sales director],

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 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.


  1. Iescaped

    The sneakiest way to prevent a consultant from returning product is to tell them that it can only be returned one year from when they joined vs one year from when order was placed.

    This is something that happened in my former Area all the time and it started with our NSD.

    Too many times an IBC didn’t find out the Truth until the one year mark from their LAST order had passed.

    1. pinkvictim

      This is what my wife believes; at this time, I do not know how she came to think this, but I would bet good money on her sleazy, sleazy SD having told her this.

      I do think I can use this to my advantage, though. Once I show her that her understanding of the rule is incorrect, I hope I can show how other things she believes about MK are also incorrect.

      Words cannot express the disgust and anger I harbor towards MK…

      1. BestDecision

        We all repeated whatever was taught to us to say, including that they have 1 full year to return their inventory. You are exactly correct that things are taught inaccurately. I used to drive pink Cadillacs and had Offspring Directors, so I could go on and on…

    2. pinkinthered

      Yes! I was told my inventory could only be returned within my first year so I thought I was SOL. Thank GOD for PT-where I learned that I had been told yet another lie.

  2. Lazy Gardens

    And encourage them to give it ONE FULL YEAR … so by the time they realize they aren’t going anywhere, it’s too late for the big starting order to be returned.

  3. pinkpeace

    I know in Christine Peterson’s national area (she has since retired from MK), she counseled directors to offer to pack up the product for consultants, then hold onto it until the 12-month mark had passed for the large initial order. The director would then send the product back, and the consultant would only get reimbursed for the newer, much smaller orders.

    When I heard about this, I was floored. I would never have the nerve to hang onto a consultant’s return, but with the higher up directors in particular, this was standard operating procedure.

    1. BestDecision

      It was Christine’s area that was banned from local TRgets because they were taught to stalk customers. She also threatened MKI to go on Oprah and expose the ugly truth about how it all worked if they terminated her.

        1. BestDecision

          And not far from the tree fell Jamie Cruse Vrinios who was scolded by MKI for teaching her Area to say they were “corporate recruiters for MK Inc.”. Her Area grew incredibly fast because of this ploy to make themselves look like they were sincerely complimenting a customer like a corporate recruiter would. And she’s another one that abuses the use of God and scripture at a sickening level.

          1. Leo

            Jamie Vrinios it’s a terrible person, when I joined I was going thru a lot in my life and marriage, my husband was not very supportive at the time and so I was moving slower than others, going to Jamies evenets and hearing speak was so hurtful, she bashed woman left and right, she called woman that were not yet directors losers, gutless, etc, etc. She cares about getting to the top no matter who she uses to do so, and yes she focuses on the Provervs woman, it is sickening, I am a Christian and the way she speaks is far from God’s scriptures, professing and talking about God does not make you a Christian, modeling Jesus and treating people with respect is what makes you a child of God. She really hurts a lot of people. 🙁

  4. ran4fun

    That “supposed” letter above from a consultant who “regretted” sending her inventory back…PLEASE!!!! If ever there was a scrip, that is one! Did you notice how all the bases were covered so no objections could be made? I call BS on that letter being authentic.

  5. Briansmama

    That supposed letter from an IBC who quit made me sick to my stomach. The manipulation was so obvious. No way anyone ever wrote that – or even felt that in its entirety. Besides, if you really, really want to go back, they will absolutely take you. I think it’s been a long time since that “rule” was in effect, if it ever really was.

    I’ve been out for years and years. And the other day, I opened a drawer and actually found some old order sheets. I swear, the stuff just multiplies in the corners. I keep thinking I’ve gotten rid of it all then more turns up!

  6. Als8432

    This article completely worries me. I was talked into joining the pink cult a few months ago by my recruiter who was relentless for several months. I finally agreed to join and she told me it was $100 for the starter kit, no other money needed. I asked her multiple times if I needed more money than that and she always said no.

    Well, after I signed on the pink line, I found out I was expected to order inventory. My first chat with my director involved her giving me multiple examples on how I can go into debt to “finance my inventory.” She kept pushing me to order enough to reach star status, but I just went with $600.00 even though I only wanted to order the minimum. The director told me I had to order within 15 days, which I later found out was a lie.

    I am so glad that I stumbled across this site while trying to look up MK terms. Having discovered how this company really is makes me want to get out ASAP. It was extremely eye opening for me, I thought that since it has been around for so long it was a great company. I should have done more research before signing up. Unfortunately I already signed up for January Jumpstart and can’t get my money back so I have to suffer through that before returning my inventory.

    I can only imagine the speech I will receive from my director after I call the return inventory hotline. She is so fake and pushy it is unreal. Every time I talk to her she tells me I need to start recruiting even though I have told her I don’t want to. Now my recruiter is reaching out to me all the time wanting to help me schedule classes and recruit because they can’t just let me do my own thing. I can’t wait to be done with this ridiculous pyramid scheme. I can’t believe I got duped.

    1. MLM Radar

      It hurts that you can’t get your money back for January Jumpstart, but you still have choices: (1) Try to sell your ticket to someone else, and (2) Just don’t go.

      “So sorry, something important came up. No, I don’t want to talk about it, thanks for asking, but it’s really not your business.”
      This can be followed by: “I’m the owner of my business. I make the business decisions, not you. I said I don’t want to talk about it, so back off.”

      Then block their numbers. You are not answerable to them.

      The definition of “something important” for purposes of January Jumpstart is “I decided to sleep late, then pack my inventory for return.”

      1. Als8432

        Apparently a makeup artist is teaching us how to do stuff, so I guess I’ll go for that. Can’t sell my ticket, they made them non refundable and non transferrable. At least when I see my director I will be reminded of why I am leaving this company and it will make me feel so good about returning my inventory because I can’t stand her. What skin care products did everyone switch to after returning their MK stuff? I need a new skin care line

        1. Lazy Gardens

          Apparently a makeup artist is teaching us how to do stuff, so I guess I’ll go for that.

          Please don’t. You can watch better make-up artists on YouTube for free, at your convenience.

          That ticket is a “sunk cost”, but you can save yourself the coming cost of the meals, the travel and the risk of being persuaded to continue as a consultant. And the time away from your family and friends.

          The real purpose of this “jump start” is to revive the flagging interest of the IBCs … re-indoctrinate them, persuade them that it’s worth it.

          1. als8432

            I am going to skip it, but I do have a question. I’m confused on why my director calls us a “future national area”, she only has one offspring director, don’t you need 24 offspring or a number close to that to be a NSD?

        2. BestDecision

          My Senior did the same thing. She wasn’t even an Executive (5 Offspring) and called us her “Future Area”. Totally ridiculous.

          As for skin care and makeup since I left MK, I’ve used (and LOVED): Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Origins, Tarte, NYX. Caroline Hirons is a genius to breaking down what is good technique and needed or NOT needed for healthy skin, so go to her blog and see what brands she recommends based on your needs. YouTube has a ton of videos with makeup reviews and tutorials. Lisa Eldrige is a celebrity makeup artist, and I’ve found hers to be among the best. Kate Winslet is one of her repeat clients.

          1. als8432

            Thanks for the skincare/makeup recommendations! I am definitely going to look up those people online and check it out. When I return my inventory, if one of the blushes or eye shadows has a chip it, will they take it back and give me credit for it? It was like that when I got it, I didn’t do it. Am I able to sell back the tubes of foundation that came with my starter kit, or will they only take the entire starter kit back, not parts of it?

          2. pinkvictim

            My wife does the same thing. She keeps waffling between 1 or 2 active team members, but signs her “beauty business” emails with “Future Director”. Under their own MK terms, you have to have 8 actives to be a “Future Director”. I’m almost sure that her sleazy SD encouraged this, as it is something to “Beee-lieve” in… “aim for the stars”… or some other such ear cooing crap to keep the illusion alive.

        3. BestDecision

          As to why Directors call themselves “Future” NSDs, it’s because it’s an ego boost. MK is all about a facade of success. To make themselves look really successful and important to the rest of the sales force, a lot of people brag about how many Directors they have, when, in actuality, only the 1st and 2nd line Directors count towards NSD.

          1. enorth

            What I’m seeing are gals who become SDs and immediately post on their websites and social media that they are “building their National Area…” These poor people are being fed what to say, think, and post. (Beware of the overly made-up woman wearing an ill-fitting suit covered in rhinestone bumble-bees.)

            Reminds me of a local MK event video I saw. The two NSDs held hands as they strutted across the hotel conference-room stage, waving to the sparse crowd as if they were celebs. At one point they stopped, and one NSD called out to the audience, “Now, don’t you want to be us?”

        4. BestDecision

          You can only return unused, unopened product that you bought individually, not that came as a pack in your Starter Kit. Call 800-272-9333 and ask to speak to the Repurchase Department. They’ll guid you through the process and tell you what you’re eligible to return.

          Either way, it’s worth it to be out.

          And also, Tarte has, hands down, the very best cheek color formula on the market. Go look at Sephora’s site and you’ll see what the big sellers of every category is.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      Unfortunately I already signed up for January Jumpstart and can’t get my money back so I have to suffer through that before returning my inventory.

      NO … you do not have to go, even though you signed up for it.

      Just say, “I changed my mind, I will not be attending.

      If nothing else, you will save time, gas and car expenses, restaurant bills and an astounding amount of annoyance.

      Ship the products back, ASAP and plan something else that weekend.

    3. Trickedbythepinkcult

      Omg they did the same to me she forced me to buy 600 of inventory and now all I want is my way out I open my eyes when I discovered I had to pay for the website too plus shipping and website discounts wtf I’m glad I only had lost 100 of the staredkit and I will not pay her 600 or anything else

  7. Lola S

    I’m in the process of sending back the unused product I have. The retail value of everything comes to $900. How much can I expect the check to be? I want to be aware just in case I have to dispute anything with the company. I am amazed my SD hasn’t contacted me to talk me out of it. Another question in your experience which would be more cost effective to send it through UPS or FEDEX? Thanks for opening my eyes to this scam. The more I read the more my stomach turned at all the pretty lies they tell you. I heard most of them before signing. Thanks!

    1. Lazy Gardens

      $900 retail = $450 wholesale. 90% of the $450 PLUS ALL THE TAX you pre-paid on it. That will depend on your state, county, sity, etc. But you are looking at $400+ the tax, which is a nice thing to find in the mails.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      The one thing to REALLY watch for is that they will repay 90% of the lowest current price, and if you bought it before any price reductions, you have to have your sales slips and InTouch information to clear things up.

      Right now! Go to InTouch and Download ALL your orders!

      1. Lola S

        I went on in touch and they only have that I made 2 purchases. And the initial 600 one is no where to be found. I went in to print everything. I even sent all the “free gifts” too cause in my breakdown paperwork it said retail price so I assumed they would charge me for those too. So glad I’ll be free of all this crap. I’m still amazed my SD hasn’t contacted me. That goes to show how much they care about small potatoes. Lol well that’s good, one less thing to worry about. Thanks again.

        1. MLM Radar

          Mary Kay tries to keep consultants from catching them shorting refund checks by hiding your order information from InTouch after a couple of months.

          Your consultant contract says Mary Kay will refund you 90% of what YOU paid for all returned Section One products purchased within the last year. Unless they’ve changed the text of that contract recently, that includes Limited Edition and discontinued or reduced price products.

          The catch is that you have to prove that you paid a higher price than the “most recent” price they used to calculate your refund. To do that you’ll need a copy of your purchase order (NEVER send them the original). But… if you didn’t save the paperwork, thinking it would be available on InTouch… and you didn’t know that InTouch paperwork disappears after a couple of months…

          If Mary Kay was offering a REAL business opportunity, they’d make your order history available on InTouch for at LEAST two years. That would give you plenty of time to use your order information to file your tax return, even if you needed a filing extension.

          It’s just one more proof that Mary Kay is running an elaborate scam.

          1. PinkDumDum

            Hi all, I’m one of those pink dum dums that regrets a certain short lived four months of my life… Does anyone know if you can sell back inventory that a customer only bought a part of? For instance, I had a couple of Time Wise combo/oily sets and someone bought the cleanser and moisturizers out of them…which leaves me with two night solutions and two day solutions from the sets…can I sell this back?!? That’s about $120 retail right there!

  8. Ash

    So I am finally getting out and I preblocked my SD’s numbers and emails. How long should I expect to wait for the check to come back once I ship my inventory back? Gotta pay off my stupid MKVisa now that I got conned into..

  9. MKFormerSD

    I was a Premier Car Sales Director, on the way to Pink Cadillac. I have never regretted returning all products for 90% and leaving Mary Kay. It’s a pyramid scheme. That letter is most likely elaborated or fabricated. I hope the Federal Trade Commission takes just action and that prosecution fits the crime.

  10. Nomorecrap

    I was a sales director a long time ago.. had to purchase inventory every month whether I needed it or not just to keep my production to kee my car. Such a scam. I bought into the whole “can’t ever sell again if you send the product back” scheme and ended up selling to a local flea market seller that bought it all from me for what mk would’ve given me. Am curious… I see Jamie Cruz Vrinios is now promoting a different skin care line.. did she leave mk?? How does that even work as a NSD?! And a separation from Pete too?!

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