The Mary Kay Way: Lies, Lies, and More Lies

If I had to boil down my beef with Mary Kay Cosmetics into one word, it would be LIES. I can’t stand all the lies that consultants and directors tell. Corporate actively encourages telling the lies and blatantly misleading others, and is well aware that it is being done by the sales force. It’s just a fact… there is rampant deception in the process, from recruiting all the way through quitting.

Is it a small problem that is being committed by a few? No, it is a huge problem in Mary Kay being perpetrated by most. Yes, I said it. I believe that most consultants and directors in Mary Kay are lying. Some are telling outright lies. Others are telling many lies of omission. Either way, they’re lies.

Here is one former director’s story and the lies and deception that her “sister” director used to cheat her. Unfortunately, things like this seem to be the norm in Mary Kay.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you sooooo much for Pink Truth! The site has been HUGE in helping me sift through the many emotions and decisions surrounding my Mary Kay exit after 10 years with the company, 5 of those as a sales director with offspring and Premier Club.

I recently shipped back my products, but after returning all I was able to, I still had over $8,000 retail on my shelves. As you can imagine, I have been hoping to continue to service my customers to deplete that inventory. In fact, as I was boxing up my inventory to send back to Mary Kay, I was careful to keep the items that customers had been ordering over the past year. I figured that I could service my regular customers through their next 3 to 4 reorders.

The customers I’m referring to aren’t just casual acquaintances that bought from me once. I’m talking about my family, my husband’s family, good friends, and customers that have been with me for a good portion of my 10 years in MK.

I informed my customers that I was decreasing my involvement in Mary Kay and that I had gotten a full-time job. They knew I had plenty of products to service them, and if they would ever need something I didn’t have on hand, I’d be more than happy to find it for them.

My plan was this: When I couldn’t properly service my customers or I didn’t have the products they wanted, I’d ask them if they’d like me to refer them to an active consultant. My customers knew this, and everything was going fine.

And then another sales director got involved. We’ve both been in Mary Kay for about 10 years, and I felt that we got very close. She was certainly one of my closest “buddies” in Mary Kay and I love her like family.

When I told her I was giving up my directorship, we stopped talking so often. When I told her I was returning my products to Mary Kay, things got even more strained.

My decision to return the products was simple. I wasn’t going to do Mary Kay full time anymore, I had given up my directorship and car, and I needed a car of my own. I had far too much product on my shelf and it made sense to return it and use the money to buy a car.

When I told this director that I had returned my products, she said that she’d be happy to take all of my customers. I explained to her that I had lots of inventory and planned to service my customer base as long as I could.

But two months later I got the surprise of my life. I was visiting with a family member who told me that she had received a Look Book from this other director. She also mentioned another customer of mine who also received one from the other director. Then I found out about a third person who had received a mailing from her and had placed an order with her.

Of course, I was shocked that this other director had done a mailing to my customers. After confirming with Mary Kay that they had not given my PCP mailing list to anyone, I called the director and asked her how she got my customer list. She told me that our senior director gave her the list.

I was very upset because my customers hadn’t given me their permission to give out their information. I planned on getting their permission when the time came… but this wasn’t the time.

The director said she was sure I’d want her to have my customers because I knew she’d do a good job with them. After I had already told her no????

I called my senior to find out how she got my customer list and why she would have done this to me. She tried to wiggle out of it by saying that the customers deserved to be “well taken care of” and that this other director was the logical person to give the customer list to.

I asked my senior how she got my list, and she reminded me that a year prior I had given her my In Touch password so she could see one of my reports. But she didn’t have any permission to use the password after that. She said that once Mary Kay called her and told her that I was returning my products, she logged into my account and printed out my customer list.

Adding insult to injury, my senior told me that once I returned my products to Mary Kay, that my customers weren’t my customers anymore and that I shouldn’t be representing myself as a consultant when I’m not one. I told her there was nothing prohibiting me from selling off my inventory even after I quit. She said “corporate doesn’t see it that way” and challenged me to call Mary Kay’s legal department and ask them.

I never expected my “sister” directors to do this to me. To break into my In Touch account, essentially steal my customer list, and contact my customers behind my back. They knew that I had a lot of inventory and now my opportunity to sell it is in jeopardy, thanks to their deceptions. So much for the “Mary Kay Way.”

7 Comments

  1. raisinberry

    So even if we pretend that “legal” doesn’t want you servicing customers with what you have left in product, if this “lie” remains intact as legit, you ALSO can not sell your remaining inventory off to liquidators either! So get this: IF you buy product, and if you quit MK, with “leftovers”, you have no “legal” recourse to recoup your losses and can only hope it’s edible.

  2. BestDecision

    Stealing customers by logging in to InTouch? Talk about desperation! If they had “so” much business happening, they wouldn’t have the time or thought to do something like that. They’d have too many of their own and would know your customers would do a Consulant search and get with someone else.

    Their desperation drives everything, I swear it.

  3. Out of the Pink

    Oh my God! I’m so sorry this happened to you! It was a major violation on any level. How can people be so dirty?! I am so glad I am no longer affiliated with this company. I sent my product back last year. Ick!

  4. Melissa

    My question is, If you were doing so well, premier club, car, etc. Why would you quit working for yourself and work for someone else? I’m just curious. I Know it’s a numbers game for any direct selling company. Loss of team members? Customers?

  5. TBnoMKforME

    “my customers weren’t my customers anymore and that I shouldn’t be representing myself as a consultant when I’m not one”

    To me the major problem in her or anyone in MK saying this is that you’ve already paid the sales tax on the product you have, and if MK is legitimate and believes that your customer is the end consumer, then you have to sell the products to customers. Even if you’ve already “left” MK.

    They’ve counted your inventory purchase as implying that it will all be sold through customers by preemptively collecting the sales tax from you for the sale. While you do get the tax refund on the product you returned, your attempts to sell the inventory you haven’t or can’t return is completely appropriate and frankly it seems fraudulent to me that they would try and say otherwise.

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