Begging Mary Kay to Sue Us for Selling on eBay and Amazon

This article was submitted by “Tiffany” who wanted to share her experience as someone who was never in Mary Kay but began buying products from consultants and reselling it on eBay and Amazon. After helping many consultants who had products they couldn’t unload anywhere else, Mary Kay tried to stop her.

This is not to be taken as legal advice.  We are just sharing our story hoping it well help others.  Oh and we also want to tell you why we are begging for Mary Kay to sue us.

We always knew of the Avon Ladies and the obnoxious Mary Kay Ladies but we never had a reason to know of the actual structure and how it worked until we got a cease and desist (C&D) letter from the Mary Kay legal team threatening legal action and accusing us of hurting their sales force, violating their trademarks and the products weren’t backed up by MK guarantee etc.

The Day the Cease and Desist Came via Certified Mail…

Of course we panicked but we knew in the back our my minds we were okay because we sold other products online such as Amazon and eBay and always got permission from eBay or Amazon before selling it on their platform.  Both companies replied telling us it was fine as long products are not counterfeit and we legally obtained the products.

Check.

You see, the lady we purchased product from was a former Mary Kay lady who had literally over $10,000 + inventory that she could not send back to the company because a year had passed so we paid rock bottom prices. We actually gave her more than what she requested thinking we would make 10x. Ha. Little did we know Mary Kay makeup is not comparable to high end makeup. That’s okay. We still made out.

Luckily the first attorney we called eagerly took our case.  We paid a small retainer because he was so sure we were with in our legal rights (we are) and would even have taken our case pro bono but it was better we pay a retainer so we did.

The back and forth went on for about 2 months. The fun part was learning through eBay and Amazon legal team — Mary Kay was able to send us a C&D to our address we had on file with Amazon and eBay because Mary Kay placed an order with us vs demanding the companies take our listings down because it is in fact legal to sell their products on line (see below on how to) and they won in court by not having to give out our contact info.  That always bothered us why Mary Kay didn’t contact the two companies.

Mary Kay’s Legal was trying to bully us.  Go ahead on Amazon and eBay and count how many listings there are of Mary Kay products. Our attorney practically begged Mary Kay’s legal team to file a lawsuit against us in court, you would be surprised to know how the threats turned to “we are trying to avoid litigation” as we proved:

  • We did not have an agreement with Mary Kay so their argument not permitting their sales force to sell on line at places like Amazon and eBay did not apply to us.
  • We are not bound by Texas law but Mary Kay is (see why that’s good below)
  • Our customers were backed up by eBay’s and Amazon’s customer satisfaction guarantee: if a customer isn’t happy they can get a 100% refund.  We also went above MK guarantee by offering a refund and new product if need be. We had 0 complaints, 100% feedback.
  • Once an item is uploaded on eBay or Amazon it technically becomes their property (read the terms and conditions). Why isn’t MK going against them instead?
  • As far as the copyright infringement— it’s called trade. You are permitted by law to sell products you obtained legally. Plus we made it clear on our listings we were not affiliated with Mary Kay.  We had to show photos of what we were was selling —we weren’t using their stock photos. There is no copyright infringement.
  • We made sure to specify on listings if the products were expired.  Mary Kay products do have a longer shelf life than their actual expiration date for a reason, ya know.
  • We proved we were not hurting the sales force—we were actually helping the sales force since Mary Kay Cosmetics has a tight window when consultants can sell back their products.  (Sadly consultants sell their old inventory at rock bottom prices so they can keep buying new inventory to get to the next level)
  • Most of the Mary Kay products we sold were no longer sold by MK since their packaging was changed all the time (aka limited edition) so again we were not hurting the sales force
  • MK doesn’t permit their sales force to sell on line anyhow.. consultants can just sell through their website.  We also scrutinized their online marketing.
  • Mary Kay still encourages consultants to sell face to face (parties) therefore online customers are not MK’s target customer. We demanded to know how many customers shop on MK vs buy face to face (you know how that went “we don’t track sales” aka face to face)
  • We demanded to know how many customers actually went through the MK website and purchased off the consultant by using their “find a consultant” feature so we could see how we were “hurting” their sales force.  Nevertheless, MK wasn’t willing to  supply that info and only would if ordered too. They called it “trade secrets” we called it bull sh*t.
  • We actually scrutinized their “find a consultant” feature they pointed out on how customers find consultants to buy their product. We actually proved Mary Kay’s feature hurts their own sales force since we are able to enter zip codes of actual consults we found on Facebook and through other ways and noted when we entered their zip code their names did not show up — other consultants names showed up. That was fun.
  • We gathered many testimonials from former consultants via Internet the burden they had by having so much left over useless inventory that ended up in the trash and money lost  (we also contacted some of them who agreed to supply affidavits if needed)
  • We proved MK products were over priced just by pointing out their own commission they pay if a consultant placed an order — not if a consultant sold their products.
  • After all Mary Kay loves to say they don’t keep track of consultant sales so we needed to know how our tiny store was hurting this company that boasts of $4 billion in sales they get off consultants every year.
  • We even used Sale Directors own websites telling their consultants to not worry about eBay and Amazon sellers who sell Mary Kay products because the prices were so below retail — the Sales Directors said “them customers who buy off eBay and Amazon were never gonna be “our customer” anyhow because they are looking for deals.” Basically branding buyers “cheap” (mysteriously those posts were taken down shortly after)
  • We provided many notes on our sales record and from our own feedback from customers saying they always wanted to try MK or liked a product but weren’t willing to pay retail prices.
  • We proved if a customer ever had a complaint we always offered above what Mary Kay would ever dream of offering.  We guarantee a fast refund—no questions asked plus offered replacement in addition to a refund.
  • We also proved Mary Kay’s attorneys who filed the C&D and threat of lawsuit knew they were wrong and were in violation Texas Law & Texas Bar via ethics etc and mentioned the Texas Supreme Court 91a rule for baseless lawsuits and pointed out how Texas is cracking down on frivolous lawsuits like this.  We promised to send bar complaints.

We spent so much time learning about Mary Kay since this happened and it makes us angry how unethical this company is. If you obtain merchandise legally you are permitted to sell it. Plain and simple.  Although Mary Kay didn’t end up taking us to court (bummer) and paid us an undisclosed amount of money for attorney fees under our confidential agreement — we ended closing down for a while because we felt dirty for selling their products after learning the culture and horror stories from current and former consultants.

Then something kept happening: we kept getting desperate calls from former consults begging us to buy their inventory who could not sell their product back so we ended up opening up shop again.  We just made sure to never buy off a consultant who is trying to climb the ladder.

Ha. Don’t you know you Mary Kay is trying this again by ordering off us under our new store? Like we didn’t have the address saved from last time.  Lucky for us, since the USPS can get our return address by scanning the tracking number — we black out the return address because you never know when a stalker will just show up at your door. We know the USPS would not turn this info over to them with out notifying us.

We are READY for round 2.  Is it worth it? You bet. We are helping former Mary Kay reps out by buying their inventory they can’t return for whatever reason.  Plus it feels good to use Mary Kay’s own words against them. We are not the only ones who Mary Kay has tried to bully and successfully argued on the above merits. 😀

We are hoping Mary Kay will take us to court so we can set case law for future victims.

By the way MK legal- we know you read this website everyday, this was sent via Tor. Oh yes, Pink Truth is known as former disgruntled consultants.  I thank you disgruntled consultants because you all helped us and we want to pay it forward.

33 Comments

  1. BestDecision

    This is brilliant! The “find a consultant” feature changed several years ago to only list those that are Star Consultants for the last quarter (ordering $1,800 wholesale or more). It’s funny how that revealed the ugly truth we all knew: Too many consultants didn’t take the business seriously, didn’t carry inventory, and didn’t properly care for the customers. Bottom line, MK is a hobby for the majority, yet they’ll all come on here and boast how “much money (they’re) making”.

    MK Legal, you showed your colors by having Laura Beitler, an actual attorney, appear on 20/20 and defend the overspending practices of the sales force. Who better to throw people off their scent than an attorney dressed as a “VP of Sales”?

    Yet, we all remember the blank stares when your Cadillac Directors couldn’t say what their net profits were the prior year. Ha!

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      “Find A Consultant” is a joke in my city. We have 5 zip codes and 100+ consultants but the only ones who show up are the director (my ex) and her pets-of-the-moment.

      Go into DIQ or place a large order, show up in the finder. Fail DIQ or the director, you disappear.

    2. SAHPhoto

      Oh that find a consultant feature is a joke.

      When I joined it was touted how I would be at the top of the listing!

      Except I was 3rd or fourth out of five

      I was surprised. One that I was NOT at the top of anything and Two, how few names came up. Then I realized the people ahead of me bought themselves a bigger Star and so, were listed ahead of me

      Its all about what you spend in MK

    3. Tara Lyn Sayre

      I just received a cease and desist order for selling on Poshmark and I’m a consultant. The 5 page letter goes on babbling about a 1.2 million dollar lawsuit. I’ve purchased about $1,000 worth of product since I started?? Really Mary Kay?? A simple, please take it off Poshmark would’ve saficed.

      They sent me the letter as if I was a customer buying off of a consultant. Evidently, their investigation process doesn’t work very well.

      Now they’re telling my customers they can’t sell it to someone if they don’t want or need it? What if I have something that I thought was the right color, but wasn’t. Am I just supposed to keep it and lose out on the money??

      My days of selling Mary Kay are over and I’m very disappointed with the company. What happened to the “religion first, family second, and career third beliefs?? Suing loyal consultants who provide 100% of their profits is a dirty way of doing business!

      1. TRACY

        If you’re a consultant, your agreement prohibits you from selling there.

        If you were NOT ever a consultant, their legal claims are baseless. BUT…. they know everyone is scared of a lawsuit and big legal fees, so everyone has caved to them. They know that bullying is effective.

        1. Vanessa

          What if you were, have inventory leftover, and now terminated your own contract? Can you then sell legally on ebay, amazon, etc…?

          BTW, MK has put out a new contract this year.

  2. raisinberry

    Bravo! Nice job. You’d think with all that concern for women, Mary Kay would be mortified that hundreds of thousands of them over the decades ended up with garages full of merchandise “chasing the dream”. Beitler’s incredulous facial expression was priceless! Seems like Corporate Employees can look straight into a camera and lie, just as well as the Upper Sales Force can at your local Holiday Inn.

    Naw, a cease and desist was issued because online sellers PROVE that Independent Beauty Consultants can’t consistently sell and make a profitable business from multi-level product based pyramids. (YES, it’s a MLM…please.”Dual” marketing is a co-opted word that describes something entirely different. Look it up.)

    If a recruit target looked online, saw the immense amount of discounted merchandise available, they would be dissuaded from joining…and THAT is the
    meaning of “hurting consultants”. They don’t RECRUIT.

  3. MLM Radar

    You not only got MK Legal to back down, you got MK Legal to pay for your attorney fees!!!! Big win for you! Nothing says “We were wrong” quite like handing over cash to your victims to compensate them for defending themselves.

    Still, I wish you’d have filed that bar complaint. Maybe you’ll get to do that based on the next round of Cease and Desist demands.

    Can someone check how many MK listings are on eBay today? I’m not able to look it up right now. But last time I checked the number had fallen from a high of about 62,000 down to about 48,000, which seems to parallel the decline in US-based MK consultants.

  4. Shay

    Didn’t Touch Of Pink lose on these merits? Laura B was petty in that suit. Said they used too much pink on their website and didn’t want them using Mary Kay.

    This post is a great defense that sellers can use. Bottom line is Tiffany is right, if you get someone thing legally then you can sell it.

    Epically defended themselves on how they actually help the sales force by buying, where else would they get the product to sell?? From ex consultants who were tricked in to not returning their inventory.

    Mary Kay of course is not concerned why their products are turning up on eBay in the first place. So much for them thinking these products end up in customers hands, oh that’s right they do! From eBay!

        1. MLM Radar

          1. Touch of Pink’s case went to a jury. Juries are swayed by emotion when facts are overwhelming.
          2. Touch of Pink may have looked too much like MK. The OP here was careful to use homemade pictures and make completely clear that they were NOT MK.
          3. The OP was careful to clearly distinguish themselves from MK from the beginning, so that there was no question they were not acting as a MK agent or MK clearance outlet.

          There’s probably more.

          1. Char

            Agreed. I also think people are more aware of the scam of MLMing like never before – thanks to blogs like this for exposing it over the years. The jurors may have even been under the delusion that MK was a legit business for consultants too – back then.

            People are much more knowledgeable now save the few who are easily duped willing victims or outright con artist liars.

            How ironic that Touch of Pink made an actual “selling” business out of MK products raking in almost 300k a year from all those women who thought they owned a business, bought products, compromised relationships, and worked their butt off pretending . Cringe. No, MLMers are not taken seriously by normal people.

  5. DonewithMK666

    That is something that I’ve always wondered about selling on Amazon and eBay because both of them have a satisfaction guarantee and Mary Kay always try to make the point that their product had the 100% satisfaction guarantee but yet so does eBay and Amazon so it just proves that Mary Kay doesn’t care about where their products end up just that the consultants buy it!!
    I agree with the comments above about Laura Beitler she is such a deceitful person and on the 2020 show she was so full of Crap When I was working with the reporters from 2020 they really did want to come to my house & film the $56,000 of leftover product I had from Mary Kay that I chose not to send back because Mary Kay Wood take out of that all the commissions paid me plus the value of the car and the diamond rings that I want so I figured I wasn’t going to get anything back so I said no however I’m so proud of the person that let them come and film their leftover product because basically that’s what all directors have and whether not they want to admit it is up to them but I’m here to tell you every director that I knew had one room in their house filled with product still in the boxes that they had never opened trying to reach the next level and it’s so sad !!!

  6. Lazy Gardens

    I entered the ZIP for a nearby tiny rural town about 25 miles away where I knew there were TWO active IBCs. (why a town of <1,000 needs 2 consulrants is beyond me).

    I got two consuiltants in my town in first place, then the two in Tinytown, then a mixed bag from as much as a three hundred miles away.

    Asking for my own ZIP, you would expect the locals to show up top. They didn't. First up was one from 90 miles north, and then the two who were tops in the Tinytown search. Then a mixed bag from all up and down the river towns.

    It's sold as a way to find local consultants, but it is NOT.

    1. MLM Radar

      You get more hits by typing Mary Kay on a google maps search. LOTS more hits.

      MK consultant search turns out to be just another tool that shows how UN-successful most MK consultants really are. Since it only shows people who placed a recent Star order, it highlights how FEW Star order consultants exist. If people were really selling what MK promised they could sell, you’d find Star consultants everywhere.

    2. BestDecision

      It’s now based on who is a Star Consultant in that zip code and then on rotation. They changed it several years ago to “reward” those who invested enough to be a Star. Just another carrot dangled!

  7. Lazy Gardens

    >>Our attorney practically begged Mary Kay’s legal team to file a lawsuit against us in court, you would be surprised to know how the threats turned to “we are trying to avoid litigation” <<

    Of course they wanted to avoid litigation and were willing to pay to get you to go away.

    There is a wonderful phase in a lawsuit called "discovery", where your lawyer gets to ask the opposing legal team to produce proof to back up their claims. Also, they can subpoena other institutions with a "show the papers" requests for things like bank accounts.

    They would have to show how much is ordered, how many consultants there are, what each one orders, how long they last, what they pay the downlines based on the ordering … all that filthy pink lingerie all over the news.

    It is a maxim in law that "Discovery is a bitch".

    1. Yep, discovery is a bitch.

      I write and answer discovery questions much of the time at my job. You betcha discovery is avoided at almost all costs. It’s a great tool to suss out who’s serious and what the real story is.

      You’ve got the gist of it, but it’s more broad than just asking for proof of their claims. Discovery is a process that allows for a wide latitude of questioning that allows for the exploration of evidence which might be relevant, it can expand beyond what may seem to be “the issue” of the case.

      It’s a double edge sword: It’s fun to find out new stuff that’s pertinent, but it’s a drag to have to respond to discovery questions that seem inane.

  8. april bishop

    would like to get “Tiffany” contact info – i’m in the same exact boat. I buy from ex-consultants and i got a nasty-gram from Big Pink just the other day. Would love to have some of your notes and perhaps attorney’s info, i think they are preparing to sue me.

  9. Kia Reid

    I could really use “Tiffany’s” contact info – I’m in a similar situation. I bought a few products from a Mary Kay consultant, and then decided to sell them on Ebay, because I didn’t want them. Just received a C&D letter from Mary Kay. Could really use the name of the lawyer that you used.

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