Inventory & Selling

An Even Higher Inventory Package

If you thought $3,600 wholesale was a lot of inventory in Mary Kay, wait until you see this!

For many years, Mary Kay Cosmetics had inventory “levels” or packages that started at $600 wholesale and went up to $3,600 wholesale. That highest inventory level was considered a “full store”, and often referred to as “profit level” because consultants were expected to reinvest any “profits” into inventory until they reached that much stuff on their shelves. After accumulating $3,600 wholesale inventory (either all at once or little by little), then consultants were advised that it was okay to start paying themselves the profits (if any) out of their Mary Kay businesses.

More recently, the company came up with the Pearl level of inventory, which is $4,800 wholesale. That’s even more product sitting on the shelf, and in my opinion, totally unnecessary. When carrying such large levels of inventory, consultants can run into problems such as:

  • a customer orders a product she doesn’t have, and she must still place an order (and in order to get the products at wholesale cost, she may have to order unneeded items so that she meets the minimum order amount)
  • she doesn’t really “need” anything but must still place an order to stay “active”
  • products and packaging are changed, making the current product on her shelf obsolete
  • some products expire before they’re sold
  • the consultant simply can’t predict which products will be good sellers
  • if the purchase of inventory was put on a credit card, it is quite possible that the monthly interest charges will be burdensome

If that isn’t bad enough…


One sales director is promoting an even HIGHER level of inventory, if you can believe that. She’s been promoting $5,400 wholesale as the “Total Success Package”. In my opinion, that is far more inventory than anyone needs on their shelf, and quite misleading to call it the package for “total success”.


Who starts a Mary Kay business with the intent to fail? Don’t all new beauty consultants want success? Doesn’t this “level” prey upon that desire to be successful in order to convince women to make a financially ill-advised decision?


To me, it is absolutely silly to purchase that much product up front or to accumulate that much on one’s shelf. I don’t think there are many consultants or directors who are selling enough to justify that much on hand. I realize that most recruiters are promoting the “you can’t sell from an empty wagon” theory, but this much inventory in a “business” like Mary Kay is beyond silly.


Check out the flyer created for to promote this big inventory package. Click on the image to see it full size. And don’t miss the sales director’s note on the bottom that you can use up to 4 credit cards for your order!



  1. I end with $30,000 inventory I hardly sold I became a Director won the car for few months until God let me see the reality of MK i quit everything and now that i”m returning all products, they said is a 90% back is a lie, they find obstacle not to return your well deserve 90%.


    I really hope they stop using the name of the Lord in vain.

  2. I know the product on the handout is twelve years old, but the actual pitch to new consultants hasn’t changed a bit! When I started MK back in 2013, a neighbor of mine who became a friend told me how her sister had had a horrible experience with Mary Kay. Evidently her sister had been told she **HAD** to start with at least $600 in inventory. I was appalled! My director may be deceived about how great MK is (as I was for 4+ years), but she was straight with me that I could start with no product, or with a smaller amount. I ended up starting with $400.

    My inventory still grew because of credit cards, though. About a year after I joined, I put $2000 on a brand new credit card to help my director finish her first car, the Cruze. She brought in $13,000-$14,000 in production in that one day, and at the time I was so proud! My mother asked, “How could your unit sell that much in one day?!” Well, we couldn’t. I think some of us sold some, but maybe a few thousand total. That car was finished with inventory–not sales, not customers.

    My credit card debt outlived the actual car, I’m sorry to say. There was simply no profit left after other Mary Kay expenses to put toward that card, and at the time I was living hand-to-mouth in a city apartment. My director finished her second car, the Equinox, 1.5 years later, and I ordered to help with that car too, even though it would be another YEAR before the first credit card was paid off. As I look at this “Ready, Set, Sell” sheet, it strikes me that by the time the new recruit has paid off her card(s) (36 months for Diamond level and up!), any remaining skincare or makeup from her initial order will have expired. How often do we hear, “Skincare has a three-year shelf life!” Well, so does foundation. I have thrown away hundreds and hundreds of dollars in foundation or converted them to testers because NO ONE sells every shade from their initial order. (In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sold a TW Ivory 1 or 2. Or a TW Bronze 4, or a mineral powder in one of those funny .5 shades.) Sometimes items expire closer to two years after you receive them because the “shelf life” clock starts ticking when they are manufactured, not when you order them.

    It’s “the cost of doing business,” we tell ourselves. How much money- and debt-related stress could I have avoided if I’d simply said “no” to so much inventory? But once you’re in, it’s the culture. You fall in love with Mary Kay, you fall in love with your friends and the idea of success and the new product releases; you post things you’ll later regret on Facebook. And you “grow your inventory.”

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