Your Customers Will Not Wait For Their Products!

Written by SuzyQ

They tell you… “If you do not have a full store, and are attempting to sell out of an empty wagon…  not only will you have an upset customer, she might even call another consultant who has a full store and not only will you lose that sale, you will LOSE THAT CUSTOMER!”

Oh the drama trauma.  That part of the inventory talk goes something like this:

Director:  Mary Kay does not require you to carry an inventory, and I don’t require you to carry an inventory, but my job as your director is to give you my best business advice, wouldn’t you agree?

You: Yes

Director: Well, (insert name here), my best advice to you would be to carry an inventory and this is why…  My customers do not plan ahead. (laughter)  You cannot believe how many calls I get from people who have what we call Mary Kay emergencies, and they run out of cleanser and need some NOW.  I mean it is so funny! (big smile) They call me and they are holding the bottle in their hand telling me exactly what they need, and they know I have it, because I do carry an inventory.  All I have to do is answer the phone and I make money!  How simple is that?

You: Wow

Director: Now, can you just imagine what would happen if my customers called and needed something RIGHT NOW, you know if they had a Mary Kay emergency, and I had to tell them that they would have to wait for me to order?  (gently furrowed brow)

You: OMG!

Director: Exactly! (head nod) I would lose that sale!  And probably that customer!  Is that the way to run a business?  No, of course it isn’t. (shake head)  Women want what they want when they want it, and that is just the way our society is now.  Wouldn’t you agree (insert name)?

You: Um

Director: Yes, you are right!  See, you understand the business angle already!

You: Um

Director:  Right!  I am so glad you understand this. Some of the women I talk to, bless their hearts (make tsk tsk sound) simply don’t get this part, and then they wonder why they are having some “growing pains” with their businesses.  So, knowing what my best advice is, and why I encourage new consultants to carry an inventory—it’s just the smartest thing to do isn’t it?— Let’s look at this chart, talk about your goals, and see what an appropriate level of inventory would work best for you!

Except with shopping on the internet, it just isn’t true anymore.  I really and truly do not like to shop in stores.  I love to shop online, and kind of can’t believe how much I have come to do just that.  And I really don’t even mind waiting a day or two for the order to arrive at my house.  I just don’t care. The convenience is worth it.

I ordered a pair of slacks from LL Bean one day, and they arrived two days later. I could have had them over-nighted if I really wanted them that fast. If I run out of cleanser, I go to Walgreen’s.  Or I could order it online from any number of make-up/skin care sites.

Unlike the director’s customer above, I do pay attention when things are running low and stock up, it’s not a big deal.  What the director did not tell the consultant above, is that the customer is STILL holding an empty bottle, even IF the director has the needed cleanser.  The cleanser still needs to get from here to there, and my guess is that the director will not put on her Mary Kay look, head to toe. to deliver the product at 10 PM.  Most of the nationals teach us to arrange delivery dates in different parts of our cities on different days, so, the reality of the above Mary Kay emergency might go something like this:

“Frantic” Customer:  I am out of _______ !!!!!

Director:  Well, you are in luck!  I have that and I will be in your area next Tuesday!  Does morning or afternoon work best for you? Why don’t you check and see if there is anything else you might be running low on?

(Because, as we are told, we must work smart and not hard, and really, you can get a couple more days of product out of the bottle even if it seems to be empty, and there’s no point in making a special trip, just for one customer, what with the cost of gas and how time is money and all.  And besides, this will encourage her to always keep one step ahead—bigger sales!)

Really and seriously, women will wait.  We wait all of the time and seem to live through it just fine.  Mary Kay’s turnaround time is usually within a week, sometimes sooner, it’s just that the freight is the same for a single lipstick as it is for a $3,600 order.   And that is what seals the deal for most newbies.  They have horror images (enhanced by the-gotta-make-production-this-month director) of placing 84 orders each month, each for a single item, and each with a separate shipping charge.  And guess what?  That is NOT going to happen either!

You simply do not need to carry an inventory.  Women will wait.  Your inventory is NOT an ATM machine, it is debt.  Debt needs to be repaid.  And your sales will more than likely NOT support the price of one of the inventory packages you will be encouraged to order.

And the all important limited edition products and the holiday line? You can find it all on eBay, and you can get your preferred customer gifts on there, too.

The bottom line is that the idea of carrying inventory is outdated and the only people who benefit from you carrying inventory are your upline and corporate. THEY make money the second you pay for your inventory order. You LOSE money the second you order inventory. Don’t do it.


  1. Colleen

    I totally get what you are saying and agree on theory. However when you have consultants who don’t have enough customers/orders to provide it reasonably timely then the director is right. I order my red lipstick and you still need several other orders to get to the MK minimum order to get the discount. So I wait 3 weeks. Not the 2 days I can get it with Amazon Prime. So I won’t wait for product…that long.

    The problem is the way MK has it set up. But it feeds the inventory pressure.

    1. BestDecision

      Very good point. I had many customers say they’d waited almost 2 months for theirs to order. However, the need to have every single shade and multiples of each requires a constant need to order big, especially with limited edition items that rarely sold. The moment I didn’t carry them all was the moment I’d have someone wanting to buy it.

      I returned over $5,000 wholesale when I left, and this is why.

  2. julietgalstar7

    ” I really and truly do not like to shop in stores. I love to shop online, and kind of can’t believe how much I have come to do just that. And I really don’t even mind waiting a day or two for the order to arrive at my house. I just don’t care. The convenience is worth it.”

    I DO TOO !

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