Inventory & SellingQuitting Mary Kay

Change to Mary Kay’s Product Return Option

mary-kay-inventory-huge-lotRecently Mary Kay Cosmetics made a change to the product return option for U.S. consultants. Previously, when a consultant requested the product return form, Mary Kay Inc. told the consultant the total amount of inventory she was eligible to return. She could return any products that added up to that total.

Now, Mary Kay will be telling consultants exactly which products they will be able to return.  Consultants will only be able to return the specific  products that they personally purchased from Mary Kay Inc. during the last 12 months  as described here:

Repurchase Enhancement Launches Soon
Beginning March 16th, the Company’s 90 percent repurchase policy, which allows independents sales force members who decide to terminate their IBC agreement with the company the opportunity to return unsold products in saleable condition for 90 percent of her original net cost, per the terms of the IBC agreements will be enhanced.

Company systems have recently been updated, so when the beauty consultant calls to ask for a Request for Repurchase form, instead of receiving a generic form with part numbers that the beauty consultant checks off and mails back to the company along with product, a customized, detailed report will be generated, listing all of the items purchased within the last year. This report, along with further instructions, will then be emailed  to the email address on file or mailed to their home address. The sales director will continue to be notified when an beauty consultant within her unit made this request. Due to this revision, the form will be removed from the Sales Director order sheet and and forms received by the Company after March 16, 2013 will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

This is no “enhancement” to the product return program. This is designed to decrease the amount of products returned by consultants.

How? Under the previous policy, consultants could trade products with other consultants and choose which products they returned. Consultants may have had older products (ordered longer than 12 months ago) that they couldn’t sell, but which could be returned up to the total eligible amount. Now, those older products can’t be returned, nor can any products that a consultant may have received through a trade with another consultant (unless the products received in the trade happen to be the specific products the consultant is eligible to return).

Under the old policies, consultant could engage in strategic ordering and trading that would help maximize the total amount returned. The consultant could also return expired products or products in the old packaging. Now, this is no longer possible. Consultants beware: The product return option isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And now it just got worse.


  1. Sooooo thankful that I returned my product a few weeks ago & just deposited my blue check last week. 🙂 Honestly, I’m surprised they didn’t do this years ago. While not an “enhancement” by any means for the consultant leaving, it makes more business sense for the company. Perhaps they were seeing more returns than usual? One can only hope & pray that is the case! Happy to be OUT of the pink fog!

    • How long were you on hold waiting to talk to someone in the Repurchase department? I have been on hold 21 minutes already and it doesn’t look like it will change in a while.

      • I was on hold this morning for about 10 min. Did they confirm with you that things could be sent back without boxes?

      • When I called for my form on 1/29, I was only on hold a few minutes. The gal that answered the main line was rude, but the lady in the repurchase dept was very nice. They rec’d my products on 2/11, i was locked out on 2/21 & my check came a week later (although it was buried on a pile for awhile). I was able to return some discontinued product, so I’m glad I did it when I did.

  2. That’s what “independent business owners” need: more restrictive regulation from corporate that seals up loopholes that ease the consultant’s debt burden.

    • And we ALL know how concerned corp is w/our debt burden. 😉 And I have no doubt all of those wonderful ethical directors will be sure to tell their new gals about this wonderful enhancement, right?! {wink wink}

  3. Interesting that the product returned has to be in “saleable” condition….since allegedly they destroy it. They are almost admitting they just put it back on the shelves to send to other IBCs.

    • Exactly DW.
      The expiration dates on the products will still be effective, “salable”.

      This is also a control, with fear tactic, so the IBC won’t do exchanges and she will have to purchase her needed product for her customer.
      Some IBC will still exchange but the ethical women won’t because they would not want to mess up the inventory of her cohort.

    • LOL!. That’s exactly what i honed in on too! Saleable condition–the gig is up!

      And here’s the big boo-hoo for Directors! As I was once instructed…you get a hold of that returning IBC and swap out your defunct product for her new product, and she gets her 90% regardless. So this puts the stopper to Directors being able to trade or unload their non performing product! WOW, this is SUCH AN ENHANCEMENT!

      Look up the word “spin” on and what do you know, there’s mary kay sales development team with their mouths wagging…

  4. DW you’re so right about the products needing to be in “saleable” condition and that they are “almost admitting they just put it back on the shelves to send to other IBC’s.

    I just noticed that the new Zen collection eye shadow limited edition is almost the same as the Coastal Colors limited edition palette from 2009. Same colors and pattern. It makes me wonder if they kept the returned palettes, repackaged them and voila….a new collection.

    • I just did a side by side comparison between Coastal Colors and Zen. They are identical. Same shadow, different name, including the waves. The good thing is that IBCs can honestly say that they are the same product if they don’t have the Zen but have CC in stock.

  5. It would be awesome to see this backfire on MK Corp. When IBC’s see this “enhanced” purchase return policy, it would be great for them to stop and really see what is happening and refuse to purchase anymore product than what is actually sold. I wonder how long it would take for Corp. to re-vamp the policy again?

  6. Can someone please tell me if it would be advantageous to send everything back without the boxes they came in? Would it reduce the shipping cost at all just to not have the weight of the boxes? I know the lady told me when I called that I didn’t have to have the box as long as it was unused so I want to make sure that if I send everything back without a box I won’t be penalized.

    • It would reduce the shipping cost because you can get everything into a smaller box, and the boxes do weight something.

      • PS. Without the box, how’s it coming back in “in saleable condition”? Better check that the lady didn’t tell you something you’ll regret—she may have not been properly informed.

        • Sorry, I mean what do you mean by “better do it quick”. She gave me the date I need to have it postmarked by

          • Hi Claire, they mean “before the changes take place”.. we’re saying, you better call again because with the new changes (which is sounds like rolled out on the 16th which has passed), she may have had old (aka now WRONG) info .. and we know from experience that MK will NOT back it if it was wrong, so you’re better off to check again.

            Good luck… please keep posting!!

  7. That’s the most insane thing I have ever heard! They aren’t looking out for anyone but themselves..Can I swear on here? Those B****

    I thought this new Zen eye shadow was a little bit darker?

  8. This is how it’s been in Canada since I signed up 3 yrs ago– it sucks!! I’m screwed in sending my stuff back as for the last yr I’ve only been ordering what I’ve been selling so I don’t have any of that left only old crap!!

    • Yes, Canada always had the stricter policy, and frankly I’m surprised it took MK this long to change things in the U.S.

  9. They finally caught on to all the product from the 80s and 90s being shipped back….took ‘sm long enough. This also guarentees they can recycle more product in consultant orders.

  10. OK, now I feel like a total moron! That’s what I thought it had always been so when I quit in 2009 I didn’t send any of my product back. I had been buying only what I knew would sell within a short while for a couple of years at that point so I thought that what little I had wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

  11. When I left in 2006, I didn’t send anything back. I got more out of it by donating it all to a local women’s shelter and taking as a tax deduction. I had a good $2,000 in inventory at the time. What I used myself, I kept and some I traded for what I liked before donating it. Worked out best for me in the long run.

    • This is brilliant! I’m interested in knowing exactly how you went about doing this and if you needed any proof of the donation and total amount of product to get the tax return. (I’m pretty young and don’t know much about tax stuff so any info helps!)


  12. I’ve heard story after story about consultants getting product with another consultant’s label on it!

    • Okay just thought of something. Where does it say in print from Mary Kay Corp, that they destroy the product?

  13. The return department has always said you can only return product from the last 12 months- They just never checked day codes etc. I think they are doing this to scare people into believing it is a pain in the ass and not worth the trouble. They always said it had to be product that was current within 1 year of return date. The “enhancements” are just the form coming with it including a detailed list to save their dept some time checking. They have not enforced it with some, but their official form said (when i returned my inventory) that any product that is not eligible for return is considered “abandoned” (they don’t have to pay for it or return it).

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