Inventory & SellingQuitting Mary Kay

A consultant's letter to her Mary Kay sales director.

I want to discuss my feelings with you in person, but I won't be able to say to your face what I'm feeling in my heart. Therefore, here's an email on my future Mary Kay plans. Some of this may hurt; however, I truly feel that you deserve my honesty, so here goes:
I'm done…. Over the next two months, I will liquidate all of my Mary Kay inventory in an attempt to recoup my original investment and pay off my debt. I probably have $12K retail of inventory, so I need to move it. Once my two month SALE is over, I will box up whatever's left and return it to corporate for a 90% refund. Even though I have over 250 customers stored in my Beauty Advisor database, I have only about 10-15 that purchase exclusively from me on a regular basis. That's less than 10%! I can't justify thousands of dollars in inventory to service less than 10-15 people. My team members are about to get some new customers.
I'm done…. I'm looking for a "REAL J.O.B!" For starters, I desire a job that will respect my intelligence and not play me as a puppet. I want to use my creative, intuitive, and knowledgeable mind and talents to enrich all of society (not just women) in a much larger way. I am a college-educated, professional business woman, and I will exercise my education, knowledge, and experience in a way that doesn't require me to "stalk strangers," push products on unassuming women, and beg friends and family to "financially support" my business. These methods are not only unprofessional, irrational, and unsafe, but they are totally illogical, unacceptable, and reprehensible. Call my dissention "corporate snobbery" but it is THE TRUTH!
I'm done…. Every upline director that I know, including you, doesn't even subscribe to the local community newspaper; what is that about? You ask me if I wage your level of intelligence upon this? Yes, I do! It is wrong how sales directors profess your love to change the world by enriching women's lives when you don't even subscribe or know about what's happening in the world, much less your local community! I'm outraged by this lack of awareness. Moreover, I don't want my validation to be contingent upon your constant coaching for me to "move up the MK ladder of success." That is so shallow, and I don't agree with it at all. Also, the 60's style dress code, upline phoniness, and constant secrecy that is reinforced makes my stomach turn.
I'm done…. To hide behind the philosophy of "God First, Family Second, Career Third" is just ludicrous! The current business structure relies heavily on this lie, and you know it is true! I am guilted into feeling like less than valuable whenever I miss an MK event because of a family obligation. Regardless of what you say, the reaction you give, speaks louder than words ever could! This business clouds my judgment of priorities. This is not how I want to live the rest of my life!
I'm done….. Unfortunately, this MK business is all about trying to turn water into butter. It doesn't work, no matter how much you want it to. The ingredients have to be there, before you can make the substance. You train us to warm chatter every woman within 3 feet of us, but really the only woman worthy of our time are the ones with some credit. Ironically, though, it's the women fallen, in destitute, and looking for a "window" of opportunity that really want to join the sisterhood of MK. We shovel all kinds of wonderment into their brains and lead them down a path of "bright illusion" only to cause them more despair and financial debt down the road, 99% of the time. So much for enriching women's lives, right?
I'm done…. We "aren't allowed" to question; therefore, we can't really know the answers (truth). This is MY business, and as an Independent Business Owner, I NEED to question! If I'm struggling, I need validation, not condemnation! It's so wrong to make me feel bad when I sincerely share my concerns. To acknowledge such concerns is far more healthier than avoiding it or condemning it! God built His entire Word on Truth. The Bible quotes Truth as the emphasis for life action, direction, and future! Without it, we are nothing. Therefore, I feel that staying involved in a company that doesn't readily share the truth or validate mature, responsible questions and concerns, is simply placating corruption, manipulation, and emotional turmoil.
I'm done……. in closing, I have made a choice not to engage in this facade anymore. Sales Director, you are not the source of my ultimate decision, BUT you are a great contributor. I have watched how stressed you are, and I feel that your directorship status has a direct influence on your myriad health issues. The pressures will only intensify the higher you climb this MK ladder! I wish you well, and I truly hope that you get all that you want and deserve from MK. However, what I wanted/deserved & what I actually experienced are two GROSSLY different things!


  1. Hi, I was a consultant in 2012 five years ago. I was duped by hope into keeping my product. I felt like a failure in the worst way and giving up the product was like admitting my failure. It was a very tender time for me. I am wondering now after 5 years I still have product and I am still paying for it. Is it possible for me to return anything and get any refund? I am still paying for my mistake. Literally.

    • If your product purchases from MK are > 1 year old, you aren’t eligible for repurchase. If they’re 5 years old, they’re also probably out of date/expired. I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

    • Hi Alycia,

      You are NOT a failure. What happened was that you got hooked by a con game, they convinced you that it was easy-peasy, and when you found out that it wasn’t they convinced you to blame yourself for not trying hard enough.

      The grooming starts early. Early on three things happened. (1) You were told, repeatedly, that this is easy. Anyone can do it. You can do it. (2) You noticed other people dropping out and you were told they didn’t try hard enough. (3) You were given a self-empowerment mantra to repeat: “If it’s to be it’s up to me.”

      All three sounded reasonable, but all three were lies. (1) It isn’t easy, particularly if you’re an ethical person. (2) You were told to shun the dropouts because they were “negative.” The truth is that they didn’t want you asking questions. (3) If you believe that success is up to you, then you’ve also accepted that failure is your fault. But you can’t succeed at a con game when the deck is stacked against you.

      You didn’t fail. You make a VERY GOOD business decision. Cut your losses. Get out. The only way to fail is to keep throwing good money after bad until you have no money left.

      MLM/Mary Kay “failure” is like playing a casino slot machine. You’re told to keep throwing money in because you “just know” it’s got to pay off sometime. (You just need One More, and she may walk into your life tomorrow! Except that it’ll really take a lot more than Just One.) Then you realize the payoff never seems to happen, not for you, not for anyone else you know. Or if you DO hit the jackpot, it doesn’t come close to paying you back for the money you spent getting there.

      So what do you do with all that old product? If it was sellable you’d have sold it already. You may still have a few now-discontinued products people want; check eBay. At this point, a liquidator willing to buy your inventory at a steep discount is your best bet. You could also try offering them at a garage sale for 50 cents or a dollar; you might get some buyers.

      As for the rest on your shelf, time to do housecleaning and get rid of the reminders that you “failed.” You didn’t truly fail; you were emotionally manipulated by a company that specializes in abusing women.

      Most of the 5-year-old products are worthless. Scented products, liquids, creams and mascaras have a short shelf-life; they were cheaply made in the first place. They’ll have spoiled, separated or dried, so out they go. Samples are most likely spoiled too; just toss them out and don’t look back. The lipsticks had no staying power when they were new and they don’t age well; they go out too. Eye shadow colors are definitely outdated; toss. Section 2 products such as trays and applicators could be donated to whoever is running a Halloween Haunted House in your neighborhood. All order forms, color charts, look books, etc., get tossed without hesitation.

      What’s left? Maybe some powder foundation. Well, if no one at that garage sale wanted it, that says a lot. Toss.

      Time to stop clinging to the reminders that you were a “failure.” You weren’t. The company lied to you, and the company failed to live up to the expectations they promised. You quit because Mary Kay was a bad business decision, and once you realized that there was no point in continuing.

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