Mary Kay is Suing More Product Liquidators

On July 16, 2010, Mary Kay filed two more lawsuits against product liquidators. These lawsuits follow successful litigation against Touch of Pink Cosmetics, and successfully shutting down other product liquidators. MK is suing Beauty Peddler LLC (owned by Susan Morris) and

In general, what product liquidators do is not illegal or a violation of any of Mary Kay’s rights. Anyone can sell any legal product that they legally own at any time. They’re allowed to tell people what the product is, what the brand name is, and anything that accurately describes the product. So saying the products a liquidator is selling are “Mary Kay” products is just fine.

Mary Kay is complaining that these liquidators are selling products that are “old, expired, discontinued, or beyond their shelf-life.”. Remember that MOST of Mary Kay’s products do not have expiration dates on them. Remember, too, that lots of active MK consultants are selling products equally as old as the ones the liquidators are selling.The claim that they are selling “discontinued” products is funny to me. Mary Kay changes their products and packaging so often that consultants and directors are left with thousands of dollars of “discontinued” products on their shelf. Should they not sell those “discontinued” products? Shouldn’t directors and consultants be sued too, if they’re selling “discontinued” products?

The company is also trying to get Beauty Peddler on the idea that they say their products come from “retired” Mary Kay consultants, and MK knows those products have come from other sources (i.e. current consultants).

Mary Kay is making trademark claims against the liquidators too. Although they’re allowed to identify the products they’re selling as Mary Kay products, MK is making a stink about the fact that the liquidators are confusing customers and not telling them that the products don’t come with Mary Kay’s “product guarantee.” And StrawberryLipstick is being accused of copyright infringement as well.

Here’s a funny claim that Mary Kay is making. StrawberryLipstick calls the Mary Kay products “brand new.” Mary Kay is claiming that since they did not buy the products directly from Mary Kay, they cannot call them “brand new.” How stupid. If the products are unused, then YES, they are “brand new,” regardless of whether someone bought them from Mary Kay directly or a third party.

Mary Kay has been successful again. Both Beauty Peddler and Strawberry Lipstick are shut down. I can’t wait to see who the company’s next target will be.

Mary Kay is out of control.They are obviously trying to scare anyone and everyone away from becoming a product liquidator. Although there is nothing inherently illegal or improper about being a product liquidator, MK will continue to use technicalities to shut them down. If MK is successful, then former (and current) consultants have one less avenue to recoup some of the money they’ve lost from silly inventory purchases (of things they can’t sell). They also take away one option for the consumers, which forces them back to current consultants for their purchases, and make MK more money.

Look…. All the liquidators are doing is finding a way for people to unload some of this product they can’t sell. Mary Kay doesn’t want that product sold. They essentially want it to sit in a basement or garage and go unsold, so that MK can sell more to its consultants. Letting products go to waste puts more money into MK’s pocket, and that’s exactly what they want. The greed continues.


  1. Dana

    ALL Mary Kay products have an expiration. Just because it’s not labeled out like milk is doesn’t mean it’s not there. They have a certain code that they use to tell how old a product is.

  2. Amy

    Then tell the customers what the expiration date is. Why the secret code? Everything about this company is shady it seems – even expiration dates . I sell cosmetics for a living – my products do not expire, nor do they come with a code. Obviously is product sits around long enough it will eventually go bad – but that is years and years and years.

  3. Sapphire

    This lawsuit illustrates several things

    1. The company’s chief product is the opportunity which incidentally makes the Mary Kay Opportunity a pyramid scheme.
    2. The company only cares about the cash flow into its coffers; never mind if the IBC’s make any type of money.
    3. The company lies. I count 2:
    a. It’s your own business – yet the company limits where (assuming if) you sell the product
    b. The product is easy to sell, it just flies off the shelf… yet there is a need for product liquidators.

    The Mary Kay Company really could be a better company for its consultants, if they tried. My first suggestion would be to Drop Ship any product sold to the customer, directly to the customer. This would eliminate the independent sales force from having to stock an inventory that they can ill afford to invest in in the first place, yet are oftentimes bullied and glutted into doing so. The consultant would make less money on the dollar, but then, how much is she really making if she is stocking product and is not selling it to the public anyway? Never mind whatever her over head is including ancillaries like bags, inclusions like samples and gift certificates etc. Every other direct sales company drops ships products sold directly to the customer and the customers are willing to wait upwards of 2 and 3 weeks for delivery. This reveals 2 questionable practice of MK – The frontloading of inventory and the company hog-tying the consultants as to how the inventory must be sold.

    Consider this: Mary Kay changes it’s packaging often, sometimes without changing formulas of existing products. And this does not even include seasonal limited edition products which are only relevant for a short period of time. What that does is it forces the sales force to purchase more product with the new packaging (to stay “up to date”) while holding on to products (which are perfectly good) with previous packaging or from previous quarters for the limited editions. She either doesn’t sell it, sells it at deep discounts or she needs to bulk liquidate her product. Either way – the consultant is the one “in trouble”. The company has already gotten paid. For a company that claims to “enrich the lives of women” women are losing in the deal. Some say that a gun is not placed to a women’s head… but guilt, shame and being made to feel “less than” if she does not make an initial inventory purchase are enough to make a women purchase. So, let’s eliminate Inventory purchases and the “Mean Girl” atmosphere altogether. DROP SHIP. Then Mary Kay won’t have to worry about the bulk liquidators who are serving a purpose and doing a service for IBC’s and everyone will make money. (Maybe, but then that’s another subject.)

  4. Lazier Than Dirt

    I figure if I buy something, it is mine to sell or do with it what I want.
    These liquidation companies aren’t harming Mary Kay. Who knows, maybe stuff sold at lower prices may get a person into trying other products if they liked what they tried.

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