Telling Your Sales Director You’re Quitting

Women considering quitting Mary Kay in order to reclaim their time, their families, and their wallets often agonize over how they will tell their sales director. Here’s how one consultant did it.

How do you tell her?

One option is to not tell her and not discuss it with her. Avoiding her phone calls is an excellent option because most Mary Kay sales directors will lay a huge guilt trip on you. Emotional manipulation is a favorite tactic for getting what they want.

If you feel that you owe your sales director or recruiter an explanation (you really don’t, you know.) then another option is to send a letter or email. That is exactly what Carrie did, and I get the impression that she is very happy that she did it.

Carrie was kind enough to allow us to re-post her letter, in case anyone needs to write a letter of their own and wants some ideas. Thank you Carrie, and best of luck to you in your post-Mary Kay life. You go girl!

Hi Sales Director

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over my decision to sell MK and have decided it’s not the career for me. I love the products and would have liked to continue on as a personal use consultant, but I can’t justify the hundreds of dollars worth of products sitting in my closet. I’m contacting the company about the buy-back plan.

Why isn’t MK for me?

I should have known from the beginning that it just wouldn’t work. I don’t like to call people or talk to strangers. I’m not a born saleswoman. I tried using the scripts and they worked to some extent, but I always felt like I was being false to myself and I can’t continue to do that. You told me that I could just have an online business, but thus far I haven’t gotten a single online order.

I have tried very hard to work my business, but after the initial rush of selling to my family and friends I have not had any success. I tell everyone I know that I sell MK and talk up the product, but people aren’t interested. I really believed the product would sell itself because I love it, but I’ve not found that to be the case. People roll their eyes when they see me coming. Some of the women in my mom’s group won’t even come near me because they are afraid I’m going to try to sell them MK. It’s embarrassing.

My husband and I have analyzed the amount of money we’ve spent on this proposition and the amount of time I’ve invested in trying to make this work and the numbers are not at all favorable. I spent two hours doing a facial last week and sold a grand total of $25. After paying shipping (I didn’t have the items in inventory), I figured out that I made $3.15. That has been my typical experience and I don’t like working that hard for such an insignificant return.

I have also been doing some research–research I should have done before I signed the contract — and am not pleased with my findings. I was really impressed when you told me that Harvard teaches the MK business plan and it was one of the main selling points for me. Unfortunately you’ve been misinformed. They do not teach the business plan, and in fact denounce it. I also specifically asked you if MK involved uplines and you told me it didn’t. MK may be a perfectly legal company but there’s no way to get around the fact that it’s a MLM. I don’t want to be involved in an MLM.

You are a great saleswoman and I wish you all the success in the world. I just can’t continue on with this business opportunity because I’m a sharp woman and know when to cut my losses. I plan on using my former MK time as freelance writing time so I’ll be doing something I love and that I can be proud of. I know you have a million scripts to use to counter all these arguments. I’m not interested. I’m only letting you know about my decision as a courtesy because I do think you believe in the pink dream and are mostly sincere about it being a great opportunity.


Note to us from Carrie:

The weird thing was she forwarded the letter back to me about three minutes after I sent it. I am assuming she did that accidently and really forwarded to her senior to get advice? She then e-mailed and asked if she could call me to talk about this, but I didn’t reply. I was raised to be polite and it’s hard to just cut someone off, but then I think about what she did to me and my finances and realize being my being a little rude is incomparable to the damage she willingly inflicted on me.

Maybe she does believe the pink dream, maybe she doesn’t. Either way I know she had no qualms about telling half-truths and using scripts on me.I am a firm believer in only doing things that make me happy and enrich my life, and Mary Kay did not make me happy. It made me feel like I was a slimeball. I’m just so glad I found this site and upyourcadalliac! Without you guys it would have taken me longer to realize that the problem was not me, but the system. You’ve saved me from months of heartache.

To Carrie:

You are more than welcome. I am so glad that you were able to benefit from the information and encouragement on this site. Please stick around if you have it in your heart. We intend to be here for a long time!


  1. Tigger

    No means exactly that – NO! When I was in hight school (back in, like, 1847 or something) a policeman came to our school to talk to the girls. He said when a guy tries something you don’t want, you are to say loudly and emphatically, NO! Keep repeating it. If he doesn’t get it, stick your fingers down your throat and throw up all over yourself. That will get their attention.

    In the case of a SD at your kitchen table ignoring your wishes, you can reply lke this:

    Cons.: I said no.

    SD: But, lowly Cons., I can help you.

    Cons. NO.

    SD: Didn’t you hear my heart? I can help you.

    Cons: Excuse me a sec. I’ll be right back. Bring out your shot gun and some bluing. Proceed to clean your gun and tell her, “Go on, I’m listening.”

    As SD turns blue herself, you can tell her you are so happy with your decision to quit MK, b/c now you have so much more time to keep up with your chores.

  2. ThankfulGirl2012

    Marie, I was like you. I stumbled across this website about a week after signing my consulting agreement. I had already opened my starter kit and started “playing” with things, but that was the only expense I ever lost in MK. It took a little while to shake off that pesky director, but she eventually moved on.

    Returning the starter kit is the BEST choice. I literally could not give away the foundations and samples in the kit, and it’s not great product for using myself. I ended up throwing most of it away. I can’t even imagine trying to sell any of it.

  3. Foaming Cleanser

    why does anyone have to tell their “director “? You aren’t working for her. You are an independent consultant and your agreement is strictly business with the company. Just avoid the contact while you are sending the products back. We women are so conditioned to worry about others feelings but this is not personal. It is business! If you have lots of stuff it will be a laborious process to pack it all up but you can get a friend to help you and make it into a little freedom party! GOOD LUCK!

    1. Tia

      Agreed, after reading this site I decided just not to tell her at all.I thought, I can avoid an uncomfortable confrontation? Awesome! Besides she pretty much fell off the radar after I bought my inventory. Once I returned it all, she did call me a few times but I did not call back or answer texts. She later wrote me an email and said she understands blah blah and if she could keep me as her customer. I said sure, but I have yet to buy anything. Sephora and Ulta have my heart!

  4. Cindylu

    So glad I found another director to guide me through the process of returning product.can’t believe years later I still find the odd old stale eye shadow or lipstick. Getting rid of MK product is a never ending job.

    1. DeflatedPinkBubble

      LOL Cindylu you’re not alone! I swear I find stuff all the time. Pops up like a spider and scares me a little! I ran across my pin the other day. That found it’s way to the trash REAL quick.

  5. DeflatedPinkBubble


    Here is the GOOD news. If all you’ve purchased is the starter kit, you are not an active consultant. The only thing you need to do is nothing. If you never place that first order, you’ll never be considered an active consultant. There are MANY women who purchase the starter kit but never do anything more. Happens all the time.

    I would, however, call Mary Kay Corporate and cancel your consultant number. That keeps your Sales Director from ordering in your name.

    Your SD will try to contact you to place that first inventory order. Either do not respond to her calls, messages, texts or let her know that you’ve changed your mind. A good line that we tell people to use is “I’ve decided that it’s not in my best interest to go forward with Mary Kay. Please respect my decision.”

    Glad you found us before you invested a lot of money in inventory.,

  6. HelenS

    Hello, everyone!

    I recently told my SD I was quitting Mary Kay (over text), and of course she asked why. I proceeded to tell her that I felt like Mary Kay was no longer in my best interest. And then she replied with, “But can I ask why?” And I did not respond. So then she called me and I didn’t pick up. So, I sent her a long email explaining my reasons, specifically, even though she should have respected me and believed that I had my reasons in the first place. I receieved a message from her asking if we could meet for coffee because she read my email.

    Ladies of Pink Truth, what do I do? I don’t want to meet with her because I’m sure it will be all about why I need to stick with Mary Kay, and all these reasons why Mary Kay is not a pyramid scheme/MLM as I stated in the email.

    On the other hand, we were friends. So I don’t want to be disrespectful and flat out say no to meeting up because I am not 100% sure of what she wants to meet up about. But at the same time I feel like I just need to be respected for my decision.

    Please help!

    1. ran4fun

      If she is a true friend she should respect your decision. When she signed you up, did she use the script like “MK isn’t for everyone, but how will you know if you don’t try?” and “MK offers a 90% buy back if you don’t want to continue.” She offered you an “out” to get you to sign up…so now she should respect your desire to get out.

      A true friend will not guilt you into staying. If she does, then she’s not a true friend. Nicely ask her to respect your decision. If she doesn’t, that’s a reflection on her – not you.

      If your friendship is dependent on you being in MK, then it’s not a true friendship. Calmly stand your ground and smile. Good luck.

    2. enorth

      “I don’t want to meet with her.”

      Then don’t. She’s not your mother, she’s not your boss. Are you returning inventory? Maybe she’s trying to stop you so she doesn’t have to repay the commission $ she got when you ordered it.

    3. Deflated Pink Bubble

      Do NOT meet with her, do not contact her. Are you returning inventory? If you are, you can meet with her AFTER you have already shipped your product back to Mary Kay Corporate.

      As for her asking why you no longer want to be involved. Great answer that she will have no come back for is “Because I don’t want to do it anymore.” Period. You just don’t want to. There is nothing she can say to come back from that one. Stick to your guns.

  7. Tigger

    “Because I said so,” always worked for me. I refuse to give a reason. It’s on one’s freaking business.

    Just keep repeating, “Because I said so.” You owe no one an explanation. If you cave and give a reason, she’s got you. The argument will commence.

    Go to the movies or to the mall. Leave you phone at home. The freedom is amazing. If she starts calling, turn it off. The thing i hate about cell phones is everyone thinks you must be available at all times. Not me, baby.

    1. MLM Radar

      I recommend you block her number on your cell phone. I’m told you can get some nice Android apps that will block calls and texts. If you have an iPhone the call blocking feature will let her send all the texts and voicemail messages she wants, then kill them without even alerting you that she tried. Silence is bliss.

      When you return inventory you’re not costing her a dime. She incurs no penalty. She only has to repay the commission that she received on the purchase she persuaded you to buy. In a real business, the owners set aside a portion of every sale to cover the cost of returns and refunds. The fact that she spent her whole commission check immediately (probably to buy more inventory herself) is not your problem.

      You’re the one who pays a 10% penalty, plus shipping charges. And since she persuaded you to buy the stuff, even though she knew you weren’t likely to sell it, if she was a true friend she’d offer to pay you the 10% plus shipping that you’re losing.

      Dream on.

      What often happens, sadly, is that the Sales Directors spin a sob story about how the lowly consultant is costing THEM money. They want the departing consultant to use some of that Blue Check to pay THEM for the commission they lost. And some gals fall for it. Evil.

  8. Deanne

    I just signed up today before actually looking online to see what people have gone through with. I’m completely regretting it haha. I was con’d into buying the started kit but I feel like I wont get anywhere with it. I paid the lady cash. How can I quit before I’ve even started?

    1. ran4fun

      Did you receive the starter kit yet? If not, refuse delivery. If you already have it, don’t open it. If you opened it, don’t use or open anything in it.

      Call your recruiter and tell her exactly what you said here, “I was conned into buying the starter kit.” Tell her you’ve had time to think it over and you want your $100.00 back.

      If she gives you a hard time, tell her you will call BBB or the local TV station consumer reporter. Just that threat alone should get her to back off.

      Get your $100.00 back and never look back with regret. You have dodged a huge bullet to your finances.

  9. Deanne

    Thanks haha I just feel super bad because I don’t like being mean to people haha. I haven’t gotten my starter kit yet but when I do get, I will refuse it. I thought long and hard about the what if’s of if I were to keep my starter kit and then cancel my consultant number and sell off what’s in the kit but then again I don’t know if I’d want to deal with all the hassle or if you can even do that. Ugh. I should’ve kept saying No! Haha

    1. ran4fun

      “You should have kept saying no.” … Why didn’t you? Because they have scripts to overcome objections.

      And you say you don’t like to be mean to people…but they are the ones being mean because they didn’t respect your initial feeling! Believe me…when they look at you they see dollar signs in their pocket. You are nothing but another stepping stone to help them get to THEIR goals. Not yours.

      You can quit MK without being mean. Just say you have decided that “it’s not in your best interest” or “you’ve changed your mind” and ask them to respect your decision. That’s not mean…that’s honest!

      Stick to your guns! Be ready for more scripts to talk you out of quitting. Just remember, if MK was such a great job, why do they have to recruit? Wouldn’t there be a waiting line for only the most qualified to join? Hmmm…ask her that?!?!?!

  10. Janie

    Ok so, I sighed up with a friend(not my SD) and gave it idk maybe 75% effort? I even went to the convention thingy in Dallas. I bought the largest inventory they had for me to get thinking…ok this will work…I will get referrals and can work off of the like 8 people I know(literally….its a list of 8). So my SD had this thing…where you get together with her and have a list of ppl(my 8) and sit with her while she calls them for you and helps set up your first consultations or whatever. Well….we did this at like 11am on a week day…and I knew most people would be working. So most asked if she would please call back that evening, and that they were interested in helping me out. She never called anyone back that night…saying she was busy, didn’t call the next either(after I told them she would because she had said she would. So she says I’m calling everyone back Saturday at 6…ok…I made another excuse and told everyone the times….she never called them. Not one. And ya I know I should have taken over after the second excuse…but she told me she would do it for me. Just like she had my friend, she was the one who called me and got me to go to their event, which I signed up at. So the 8 people I knew who would help me start this….basically where blown off because she had to have a party for her old SD’s anniversary(I’m on her fb page).

    Ok well I still worked after that…tried the mother in law, to get a group of ladies together…that fell through…MIL couldn’t buy because she didn’t have the money….kept going to our meetings….the same meeting every week(the exact same). Went to the big convention in Dallas….had a great time….still have 4000+ dollars in inventory sitting on my dining room table…..come home and try to do a FB party….not a single sale. Manage to finally book my first party, sell maybe 300ish worth of product(my SD did the whole party I just observed and helped). She wanted me to put the money towards either placing my inventory(still have $4000+ worth). Or getting the new line of stuff out…I did nether because one….why would I buy more when I can’t sell what I have? And two my husband and I needed new breaks for his car and bills….which trumps everything else. She was understanding and even loaned me the couple of things I didn’t have(how do I literally not have two of everything?).

    So moved on from that… have made two sales since both $50. We do this thing for a area pin award, get 6+ ppl on the phone for a marketing call then do the thing where she calls then back and talks to them. I had seven ppl on the call….all of which got a lipgloss for it. And all where ready and willing for her to call them the next day. Or the day after that….she never called a one. Sound familiar? Also for this…I was to receive a 15min phone call from my national….which I never got? The weekend I should have gotten it…I had a weeding(Greek Orthodox…they are really long…even the reception) so I didnt answer any calls…and the day before I was very busy and Sunday as well. But I looked up every number that called me that was one I didn’t know…none even hinted at being from a actual person. So I explained this to my SD when she texted me asking if I got the call. Well that night on our marketing call….her senior SD(she just became an SD this year) made some off handed comments to everyone listening that she appreciated those who made sure to take time out of their day so they could sit in a quite place for 15 minutes while our national took time out of her amazing busy life to Grace us with her presence. And that those of us who didn’t lost out. And a few other passive aggressive things. That was about the final straw for me.

    Now I just have to find out how to get what I can’t of my money back for my inventory……sorry…I know that was very long winded…but it’s been weighing on my mind. Any alive or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Deflated Pink Bubble

      Because Mary Kay is in Texas, there is a 90% buy back policy. You can call Corporate and let them know you want to return your products. You can return everything you have purchased in the past 12 months and they will refund you 90% plus the tax you paid. This will cancel your consultant status.

      Should you choose to do this, and it is the best option out there, do NOT under any circumstance, take any phone calls from your SD. She will try to talk you out of returning the product. She will offer to help you sell it, she’ll lie to your face to get you to NOT return that inventory.

      Make the phone call to corporate and get on with your life. It takes about 6 weeks to get your refund!

  11. Janie

    I’m actually in Texas, so I wounded if I could just hand deliver my product :-D. I have already called and started the process. So yay for that. I do have a question though….what did you all do with any section two products you had? My husband asked if i could sell what I didn’t want for the whole sale value(no profit just break even) on like eBay or something. I also have quite a few “gifts” I earned. I want to keep some but like I said I ordered a LARGE inventory so there’s quite a bit I don’t want. Suggestions?

  12. MLM Radar

    You go, girl!

    I don’t think they’re set up to accept in-person deliveries, but you can try.

    The price of any “gifts” you don’t return will be subtracted from your refund check. You won’t qualify for the “gifts” any more, so now you’ll have to pay for them. If you went to any events where you got “gifts” with your admission ticket you’ll have to return those too, or get charged for them.

    Do yourself a favor and return everything – “gifts” included – then go buy some decent makeup at Ulta.

    For the Section 2 products I suggest you put an ad on Craigslist and try to sell them to another consultant.

    When you get that return authorization, watch out for ways MK tries to cheat you. Your consultant agreement says they will pay you 90% of what you paid. The return form tries to amend that by making exceptions for Limited Edition and Discontinued products, which is an exception permitted by Texas law. But that’s NOT what MK agreed to do in the Consultant agreement which they drafted. So check that authorization list and make SURE it includes (1) any Limited Edition product you bought at 90% of the price you paid, (2) any reduced price item at 90% of the price you paid, and (3) any Discontinued item you bought at 90% of the price you paid. It doesn’t matter what the current price is. You are entitled to strict compliance with the terms of that agreement.

    1. Janie

      Thanks for the info on the limited addition stuff…I’ll keep an eye on that. I don’t think I received any gifts, except for my consultant package I got from seminar.

      Though I have a question on the gifts…..I’ve received a few things…with the purchase of my inventory(you get so much you get this free) I got quite a few “free” sets, like some time wise and micro derm….are those the gifts your refering to? When I talked to the lady today I think she said they don’t accept them back? So does that mean if i keep them they will deduct the money from my 90% I should be getting back? If that is the case thanks for telling me because I was going to keep them and sell them or use them as gifts(her suggestion).

      Also I earned a necklace because of my large order, should I send that back as well? Along with my ladder pen?? If I don’t will they charge me for them?

      I haven’t received my email with the papers yet but I’m getting the impression none of that info will be in them…..

      And sadly I really do kinda like their products….I don’t wear makeup often and when I did it was your usual Almay or cover girl…or whatever I could afford…so I think I’m kinda stuck with that for now. I don’t know maybe the husbands new job will a lot some extra money for new stuff 😀

      1. MLM Radar

        Yes, I was talking about the “free with purchase” items and sets. And I was talking about the prizes which came from MK Corporate, especially the ones with a “Certificate of Authenticity” that claims they’re worth $$$. You didn’t spend money on them so MK won’t refund you anything for returning them. But they will charge you for them, because the act of returning your inventory means you no longer qualify for “free” products and prizes.

        If your prizes were purchased by your Director you won’t get charged by MK Corporate. But those prizes were never worth anything in the first place. There is a special Directors Only area at Seminar where prize vendors set up tables. It’s Directors Only because the dirty secret is that the prices of those “fabulous” items are under $5 each. And they’re worth less; the prize vendors pay MK Corporate for table space and still make a profit.

      2. MLM Radar

        As far as liking MK products is concerned, MK makeup is the most low-quality high-priced stuff on the market. Over half of your “wholesale” price gets paid out in commissions to your recruiter, your Director, your Senior Director, your National, and whoever else is in the food chain. That’s why the moment you get off the phone with the returns department MK Corp contacts your Director, and she immediately calls you to persuade you to do ANYTHING but return that inventory. She’ll help you sell it… Have a going-out-of-business sale… You’ll never be allowed back (a lie)… You’re going to “hurt” her with a commission chargeback…

        That last is another lie. She pays no penalty. She only has to return the $$ she received for pushing you to overbuy in the first place. Responsible business owners, like Wal-Mart, preplan for purchase returns by setting aside a portion of their sales revenue. A MK Director also knows a portion of her commissions will be reclaimed due to product returns, especially when she has been pumping a recruit (you) to make purchases she knows you couldn’t possibly sell. The fact that she didn’t make provisions to cover an inventory charge-back is NOT your problem. So do NOT hurt yourself by accepting responsibility for “hurting” her.

        Back to the product’s actual value… MK gets their profit and factory overhead cost covered too. That lipstick you paid $10 for, and which they told you to sell for $20, only has about $2 worth of ingredients. Any Revlon lipstick which costs you $7 has ingredients which are worth at least twice what Mary Kay puts in their products.

        I really realized how low-quality MK products were when I was going on job interviews wearing MK lipstick. I had to reapply it every hour because the color quickly rubbed off every part of my lips except a spot of dry skin; there the color got embedded, giving me a Zombie Lips appearance. It’s not the sort of way you want to look in front of an employer. But the ordinary Revlon lipstick I bought to match another outfit gave me good color coverage which lasted for 3 to 4 hours, and actually helped with the dry skin spot.

      3. Deflated Pink Bubble

        The necklace needs to go back, your ladder pin does not.

        IF you have your original invoices, make a copy of them and send that in with your stuff. That PROVES what you paid for limited edition stuff. As you know, as soon as the limited edition promotion is over, that stuff goes on a pink sale. MK will TRY to credit you with the pink sale price unless you can prove you paid full price for it.

        The products suck. If you live anywhere near an Ulta, go check them out. You’ll find much better stuff at the same price. All that stuff they told you about Mary Kay being “Department Store” quality was bull$hit. You can get comparable skin care at your local WalMart for half the price. Sometimes even less than half the price.

        You MIGHT be able to sell some of your section 2 crap to a liquidator. You’ll only get about 25 cents on the dollar but it’s better than throwing it all away. The Craigslist ad is a good idea, there are usually tons of IBC’s checking there. If you cand find someone on Craigslist to take it, you’d get more for it.

        Whatever you do, don’t let your SD try to talk you out of this. Be strong, you’re doing the right thing.

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