Is Mary Kay’s Product Guarantee Really 100%

Apparently the 100% satisfaction guarantee isn’t really 100%, according to one of those emails that gets circulated to death by Mary Kay sales directors and national sales directors. According to this email, corporate is now denying certain requests for product replacement.

Let me make it clear that many Mary Kay consultants have had differing responses on issues when they attempt to return products. Sometimes it seems like it just depends upon with whom you are speaking.

Of course, I wasn’t there when this phone call supposedly occurred. I can only give an opinion on the email that is circulating:

Thanks Director xxxxxxxxxxxx, PLEASE READ ALL!!!!

I just got off the phone with the Product Replacement dept. I had a product replacement order on hold and I learned some interesting news I wanted to share.

The reason my order was on hold was that one of the products (eye shadow —dark purple “Iris” ) had a day code of 1996 !! Holy smokes that’s 10 years old. It was being returned by one of my really, really good customers that has been with me along time. I figured I would return it and see if the Co. would take it. She brought it to my open house to exchange because she just can not make the color work for her and has been meaning to get it back to me (for a few years!) etc. So I exchanged it thinking, well it’s just an eye shadow! The price on eye shadow of that age was $4.50 !! (hint: keep a copy of EVERY Look Book and EVERY order form just for these purposes! or you can call the company — they can tell you how much the product is — 1-800-272-9333 )

So the Co. called to make sure that my customer was exchanging something she had bought from ME.

The deal is that as you know and I am sure your customers have made you aware that you can get TONS of MK on EBay and of course at your local garage sale etc.

TELL YOUR CUSTOMERS! If they buy something on E-bay, at a garage sale, flea market, etc. THE PRODUCT IS NOT GUARANTEED by anyone–you nor the MK Company!!! Reason being: they did not by it under the terms of the Company’s regular business which is right in the terms on the back of a consultant aggrement (meaning it did not come from a party, facial, a re-order etc. from a consultant that is doing business in the right way) Once a consultant/or person who is not a consultant sells “out of bounds” the guarantee is void because the person selling the product went outside Company guidelines !!!(AMEN !!!)

The Company does not want you to exchange ANY product that your customer did not buy from YOU !!!!! Refer her back to the Co. by giving them the customer service number 1-800-627-9529 (1-800-MARYKAY) [ look on the back of a sales ticket –customer copy ]

If she got it from another consultant refer her back to that consultant. IF The consultant is no longer in business refer her to the Company. (1-800-MARYKAY)

If she got it on EBay —— NEVER exchange it and refer her back to the Company (1-800-MARYKAY)

If she got it on a garage sale ——– NEVER exchange it and refer her back to the Company (1-800-MARYKAY)

If she got it on a “going out of business sale”—-refer her back to the Company. (1-800-MARYKAY)

If you are like me and wondering WHY would these consultants sell product on E-bay and not make even their cost back here is the answer:

The nice gal I talked to at the exchange dept. said that mostly this E-bay thing is STOLEN PRODUCT !!! Yes, thieves steal UPS boxes off porches, from garages, etc., some WAIT for the UPS truck to stop at Suzy Q’s house knowing that she is gone at work, because they have cased her home out and they KNOW that MK boxes have lots of $$$ in them and what the boxes look like from a distance —and of course this makes another good reason to warn your customers to NOT BUY off EBay since buying stolen items is illegal !!

Some of the items on EBay are from terminated consultants selling their products to get out of business, but then how do you know that since she is not staying in business that she has kept her product from getting too hot or cold ?? I have even seen product that has dog hair in the bag (satin hands) or smells like cigarette smoke so bad you could gag (smell gets in the boxes the product is in and just reeks!!) who wants that??

I am so glad I found all of this out so now when a person wants to exchange something and you KNOW you did not sell it to her you can refer back to this! Tell her you would love to but you can not exchange anything that you did not buy from me. Here is the Co. number …………… 1-800-627-9529 (1-800-MARYKAY)

Hope this helps!

So why do I have a problem with this? My main reason is that the ultimate customer (however few of them there really are) can’t possibly know whether the products she buys are through an “approved” source or not. For example, how on earth would a woman know that the Mary Kay products she bought at a flea market were being sold there in violation of the consultant’s agreement? If she later decides to return those products and is refused because she tells the truth about where she got them, how is that fair to her? Why must she bear the burden of ascertaining whether the product is being sold through approved channels?

Second, one of the major selling points of Mary Kay during both the sales and recruiting processes is the 100% product guarantee. We’re told that if a customer doesn’t like a product for any reason, at any time, we are to exchange the products with no questions asked. Sounds to me like the company is going back upon this promise with its customers, and it’s not fair.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Mary Kay Cosmetics products being sold through eBay, at flea markets, at garage sales, or the like. While doing so may violate the agreement between Mary Kay Inc. and the original purchasing consultant, the company should not penalize the customer for this. Nor should Mary Kay penalize the consultant who ultimately accepts the returned products from a customer.

Darrel Overcash, please amend your product guarantee to say “The Not 100% Guarantee” or go back to what the guarantee was supposed to be: 100%, all the time, for whatever reason, no matter what.

UPDATE: I got this information from Mary Kay’s “Legalease” document on Mary Kay Intouch

The Mary Kay Satisfaction Guarantee reads as follows: Mary Kay Inc. stands behind its products sold by our Independent Beauty Consultants. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with any Mary Kay® product, it will be replaced without charge, exchanged or the full purchase price refunded following its return to your authorized Mary Kay Beauty Consultant or, if she is no longer active, to the Company with proof of purchase.

In contrast to laws applying to purchases over $25.00 which only give you a limited time period within which to cancel your order and return unused products (which you may, of course, o by utilizing the Notice of Cancellation form furnished you in duplicate in accordance with governmental regulations), the ary Kay Guarantee assures consumers they have protection of their purchase price, without limit as to amount of purchase or time for return and whether or not returned products have been partially used.

This Satisfaction Guarantee works two ways. First, your customer can buy the product with confidence, because she knows that — for any reason, at any time — she can return it for an exchange or refund. Second, your ability to offer such a guarantee to your customers increases the credibility of you and the product. Any inquiries relating to the Satisfaction Guarantee should be directed to the Customer Satisfaction Department at Mary Kay Inc., 16251 Dallas Parkway, P.O. Box 799045, Dallas, TX 75379-9045; 1-800-MaryKay.

This clearly does NOT distinguish between different avenues of purchasing Mary Kay products. Therefore, according to this document, Mary Kay Inc. SHOULD accept any products for return under this satisfaction guarantee, as long as the buyer has proof of purchase.


  1. So, if you bought a large flat screen TV that ‘fell off a truck’, you would expect the manufacturer to honor the warranty on it?

    It’s a legitimate exception. And customers who shop at these discounted outlets know the rules: buyer beware.


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