The Pink Truth Product Spoiler

At Pink Truth, we have a short (but colorful) history of spoiling Mary Kay’s secret planned product launches. Most notably, I announced the plans to change all lipsticks, compacts, and color cosmetics to the new black compacts… a full six months before Mary Kay Inc. was prepared to announce it

And now for the latest spoiler… I’ve got three big announcements for you. If you don’t want to know, don’t click on the “more” link…. But I know you want to know!!!

As part of the new black compacts, there will be a new large compact called “The Compact Pro.” It will retail for $35 and will be out in fall.

Direct shipping of orders to customers will be done on a test basis starting in the fall. All national sales directors and small number of sales directors will be able to participate beginning in fall 2008. If all goes well, all sales directors will be able to participate in January 2009, and the program will roll out to consultants in September 2009.

Here’s how it will work: A customer places an order on the consultant’s website. The consultant receives and email and reviews the order. If she chooses, she can use the customer delivery service (potentially called VIP Star Service) to have Mary Kay Inc. send the products directly to the customer. Or she can fill the order herself. The choice is hers.

As with everything at Mary Kay Cosmetics, there’s a catch. Only active star consultants will be able to use this service. So if you’re a new consultant who orders $3,600 and then you don’t order for another 3 or 4 months because you’re already overloaded with products, you lose the privilege of participating.

Here’s one concern I have with the program. In theory, it should help you cut down on inventory you have on hand. And it could help you out if you’re active and don’t have a particular item on hand which the customer has ordered. But you still must keep ordering regularly to maintain the star consultant status required to participate. I’ll be interested to see how that goes over with the consultants. Because you could have a customer order and then lose the option of having Mary Kay fulfill it because you’ve just gone inactive.

And finally, there is a new Acne Line of skin care that will be introduced in January 2009. We at Pink Truth had speculated about a botanical line coming around that time, but instead the company has decided to go with a line of skin care specifically for acne-prone women. As always, I don’t think consultants should ever stock up on anything at all. But please take this note as cautionary… order your skin care products carefully over the next 10 months.

So there you have it. Sorry to spoil all the suspense for Mary Kay Inc.