Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Inventory Lies

Mary Kay lives and dies by initial inventory orders. That is where corporate makes their money, because the initial order is almost always the MOST a consultant will order in their tenure with MK. Sales directors make their money with initial inventory orders. This is what sustains a unit.

So there is a huge incentive to get new consultants to place big orders. Below is a typical piece used by recruiters to convince you that you must have inventory. (Of course, no one held a gun to your head. You made the choice to place the order. But remember that choice was made based on false information like this.)
Benefits of stocking inventory in your home:

Higher Sales – Women want their products as soon as they try them. Your sales will be 50% higher if you carry inventory to give immediately to your customers.
Less Returns – Women do not usually change their mind once they have the product in their hands. If they have to wait for product they can change their mind about their order due to money stress, or husband.
Confidence – You are more likely to actively work your business if you have product on your shelf. You will feel like a professional and have more confidence in your sales ability.
Motivation – Your inventory will motivate you to do your business when you lack self-motivation. Product sitting on your shelf will get you out there selling! It’s instant cash!
Profit – You will see a profit quicker from carrying inventory. If you have to place orders, it takes longer to see profit. Also you can see a higher commission level from your sales, since you will need to order less often,
Higher Reorders and Less Customer Drop-off – If you are able to immediately service your customers once they run out, they will learn to depend on you. If you have to place an order to the company, they may look for another consultant who carries inventory.
Less Frustration – The consultants who do not carry products tend to get frustrated with their business and sometimes to the point of quitting. Not carrying inventory is one of the most common reasons for consultant dropout.

My favorite is the lie about more profit. What? You profit more because you don’t have to wait for an order? And a higher commission because you need to order less often? That’s just silly. You profit the same amount on an order whether or not you have thousands of dollars of products in your basemen.

Having inventory eats away at your profit each day due to interest charges on your credit card. It eats away at your profit every time a customer orders something you don’t have, and you have to place another order that will likely include other unneeded stuff just to make the minimum order.


  1. Char

    And even worse, the inventory lies are all based on a false premise.

    MLM isn’t a business, so therefore it’s not “inventory”. It’s stuff consultomers buy.

    Mary Kay Corp. simply calls it inventory, and that is a trick. They have the actual inventory in their warehouses, employees with benefits, and a CEO – who is a man btw. Doesn’t that cheese the ladies off since the company is supposed to empower women?! You’d think they’d walk the talk, but nope. Goes to show you how full of crap they are.

    Essentially, Mary Kay is a direct to consumer selling company. A company that inflates prices and makes mediocre products; and by doing so, they can afford to give a tiny little kickback to all their big buying customers. The ruse with MLM is dubbing these customers business owners etc., etc..

    Anything the consultomer can RE-sell to some dummy prepared to pay double what they paid is a bonus. Fortunately, most people aren’t dummies which is technically a problem in and of itself. It’s one of those inherent flaws making MLM, and thus being a Mary Kay consultant, not a business. Plus, MKC wants you to recruit new customers for THEM, and not find your own. Think about that for a sec to reinforce what I’m saying.

    In legitimate direct to consumer businesses, a product can hold its own on the retail market. With an MLM company, they have to trick the majority of people with a so-called opportunity to get them to order.

    *Mary Kay is the Mary Kay Corporation! The one where people are paid for their work, and with benefits I might add. I’ll bet some readers automatically confused where I wrote “Mary Kay” with all those ladies playing princess dress up who BUY lots of “stuff”. LOLOLOL

    1. Lazy Gardens

      This is the whole goal of an MLM: “MKC wants you to recruit new customers for THEM” because no matter how they sugarcoat it, every member of your “team” could be a customer of yours, but they convinced you to make them a competitor for you and a customer for them.

  2. PeachyNotPink

    Every single one of those “reasons” is nothing but fear mongering and designed to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Because none of these claims can be backed up with actual facts or statistics, it’s just a passive aggressive way to manipulate you into buying inventory.

    Let’s flip the wording to what the Director is really saying:

    If you don’t have inventory you will:
    – not have higher sales
    – not have women change their mind or return product
    – have more confidence in your business (this one truly baffles my mind)
    – have motivation to sell the product (or the “oh, crap! I have all this stuff I better sell it” feeling)

    There are no guarantees that one will have higher sales, more confidence, etc. In fact, the implication is just the opposite – that you definitely won’t have those things if you do not carry inventory. Yet, there is absolutely no proof that these claims are true.

  3. Ruby Slippers

    I have several thousand wholesale dollars just in obsolete product from all the changes in the past 2 years. No one ever wants anything NOT in the look book. I’ll try to use some myself but most will unfortunately end up in a landfill. I will maybe add it up and send a pic. Also it’s very sad when a former customer offered me over $3000 worth of MK sitting in her basement. That was when she was a customer for 10 of my 20+ wasted years . I told her “no throw it away it’s spoiled”. Imagine how much MK is going in a landfill for all those people realizing they won’t waste another decade pursuing this pipe dream???? I wish greatly that I would have realized this and had a real job with real benefits and 401K match and insurance like I do now. I have massive catching up to do for retirement savings. What a massive waste of 20 years!!
    P.S. Not to mention the numerous product / damage/ spoiled product over the years I took as a LOSS on taxes thinking it was a tax write off….. It’s actual $$$$$ out of your pocket people!
    Please catch a clue!

    1. Char

      Thank you for sharing that. So sad.

      “I wish greatly that I would have realized this and had a real job with real benefits and 401K match and insurance like I do now. I have massive catching up to do for retirement savings. What a massive waste of 20 years!!” –

      Had you been truly a part of the Mary Kay Corporation, instead of an actual customer, you would have had those twenty years chalked up in benefits:


      A topic I’ve been focusing on lately. In fact, I think consultants should strike and demand equal benefits. It’s only fair if they are indeed the MK “sales force”.

    2. MLM Radar

      Most Americans are in the 12% Federal income tax bracket. For every $100 you lose you only reduce your Federal income taxes by $12.

      Most of the other $88 you lose goes straight to enriching Mary Kay.

  4. Char

    Noooooo! I just clicked to watch one of my favorite YouTubers “Ask A Mortician”, and a 90 second Michelle Cunningham ad popped up about lead generation. She’s wearing a butt ugly shirt too.

  5. Shay

    More Michelle Cunningham websites found by hearing a dreadful ad on youtube;
    simplebrandingacademy, masteringthelive,
    I have the ad video where she says it all free but funny enough when you look at the comments you see people saying “Michelle as soon as I can afford this I will buy”
    Make no mistake, I am not broadcasting these websites to promote her- I am doing so because for one; I hope Tracy writes more about this cunning woman (pun intended! I crack myself up?) and two; this is not how you brand by having a million different websites. If you search her name in the google machine all that comes up is her youtube and that’s because youtube is owned by Google. If we’re Michelle I would learn how to SEO.
    Note: As soon as i can figure out how to decompress I will send ad to Tracy.

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