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

Talking You Out of Returning Inventory

This email has been circulating for years. It is meant to seem professional, almost as if it was a real live exit interview from a real live job. It also makes it seem as if your sales director cares why you’re leaving Mary Kay.

The truth is that all she really cares about is you not returning your inventory so she doesn’t get a commission chargeback. She doesn’t care what you do with that inventory, as long as you don’t send it back to Mary Kay.

You will notice that during the interview she makes it seem like she is really interested in the reasons the woman is quitting. Yet it’s clear what the focus is when she talks up how much the woman will “lose” if she sends back inventory. There’s the real focus.

I put together this brief survey as an “Exit Interview” when a consultant suggests that she’s ready to ship her products back to the company and close her MK Business.

I did my first exit interview using this script last night with a $3600 inventory. We left each other on a VERY positive note. And while she is still deciding what she wants to do, she’s very strongly considering not sending product back. At the very least, she will leave Mary Kay knowing what a wonderful and caring company we are.

Here’s what I did:

First of all, it’s Soooooooo important to do this in person rather than over the phone!! She can see and feel your heart in person. Travel to her if necessary.

1. Once I learned of her decision, I immediately called her and said: “Hillary, I understand that you have made the decision to not continue your Mary Kay business. The next step in the process is that we get together for an ‘Exit Interview.’ During that time I will give you your options of closing your business, and you will leave with the paperwork necessary if you choose to send the product back.

Hillary, I hold these exit interviews for two reasons–first I made a commitment to you as your Sales Director to help you through every stage of your business, even if that means closing your business. I will not try to talk you out of your decision ((note: this is their biggest fear about getting together with you)).

Second, I use these interviews as a way to learn as much as I can so I can improve my training within my unit. The best way to learn what doesn’t work in Mary Kay, is to talk with someone who is closing their business

2. She was more than okay with meeting with me, so we met at a diner close to her home. We small talked, and chit chatted for a bit to ease any uncomfortableness. The moment I felt that we were friends, I began the interview. I learned SEVERAL THINGS in this process. I’ll share that in a moment.

3. I spelled out in D-E-T-A-I-L what she will be losing if she chose to send product back, and what she would gain if she chose to sell it at cost. She purchased during the time where she received well over $1000 in new consultant and monthly ordering bonuses. There was a $1000 difference between selling back to MK and selling it at cost to friends/family/customers. I stapled this sheet to her pink form.

I learned several things through this interview:

a. She had NO communication or support from her recruiter once she came into Mary Kay. In fact I learned that her recruiter continued to pursue Hillary’s family and friends as customers and recruit prospects (ACKKK!!!) (A huge red flag to me that I needed to do more Golden Rule Business training!)

b. I learned that she LOVED having me as a director and she thought the training and support from me was great (I took her with me to my classes). However, because she had zero communication with her recruiter, she still felt lost. She didn’t want to bog me down with little questions that she had because she felt that I was probably too busy.

c. I learned that the $3,600 package was too big for someone like Hillary. She shared with me in the beginning that she just wanted to do Mary Kay for fun. However when I met with her and her husband during the orientation process (He is in the sales field), I think he wanted to do Mary Kay more than she did!! It made total sense to him and he excitedly bought the $3,600 package for her. She told me in her exit interview that this size package was too overwhelming to her.

Exit Interview

1. What was it about the Mary Kay opportunity that excited you? Why did you want to become a consultant?____________

2. Why are you deciding to close your business? ________________

3. How did Mary Kay Inc. not meet your needs? ____________

4. How did I not meet your needs as your sales director? _______________

5. On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate the following? (If less than 10, ask her to explain).

1. The Products?______
2. Training and education?______
3. Explanation of Inventory Options? _______
4. Sales Director Support?______
5. Company Support? _______
6. Recruiter Support?______

6. Do you understand that if you send product back to the company that you may never be a Mary Kay consultant again?

$3,600 Wholesale Inventory

If Returned to the Mary Kay – You will receive $3,240 through the 90 percent buy-back guarantee. You do not receive $$ from Mary Kay for your free product bonuses, which are valued at $516 (wholesale value).

If Sold at Cost – You will receive $4,116… Wholesale Inventory = $3,600 + Free Product Bonuses = $516 at wholesale. You may profit by selling your free product bonuses.

If Returned to the Mary Kay – You are closing the door indefinitely to your Mary Kay opportunity. You may not be a consultant again

If Sold at Cost – You may continue to purchase Mary Kay products at cost. And you may pick up your business at a later date.

Ways to sell product at cost:

1. Have a 50 percent off going-out-of-business sale over your web site or at your home. Your recruiter or director will help you have an event at your home if you’d like.

2. Let your existing customer’s know you are closing your business for now, and ask their help to liquidate products. Schedule classes and facials with them, and let them know they will receive products at cost/free for helping you. Your director or recruiter can help you hold appointments, and we’ll support the customers after that appointment.

3. Give your friends, family members, customers Look Books and Beauty Books to take to work and sell products for you at discount.

4. Have your friends, family members, customers hold a web show for you, where everyone gets products at cost. If you don’t have a web site, your MK recruiter/Director will help you.

There you have it. The grand plea to not return the inventory to the company.

And don’t forget, if it was so EASY to sell the products, no one would need to return them in the first place!


  1. Hedgehog

    This is spot on. For some reason, I still got a sit down even though I sent my product back and then told her. I didn’t know about chargebacks then, but, now I understand why she was SO ticked off at me.

    1. Brainwashed no more

      Wow, more manipulation. Not surprised but didn’t get this script from my director. Got other cr*** lines. How are these ideas different from joining? And no one pays full price for these so it’s so much easier to just return to the company.

      Due to this site, I found out that even if it’s been over a year, I can still return products. My director and former friend kept reminding me that you can’t return products if you’re in mk over a year. Not true. You can return the products you bought within the last 12 months.

      This get together just lowers the amount of time you have to return the products. It buys the director more time. And continues the feeling that the director has to give the consultant permission to leave. The hierarchy of the directors being in charge. That there’s a club of directors. That they’re making the “big” bucks and in the “big girls” club. Big debt, that is.

      Then I left. She said it’s okay for me to leave but can I give her my costumers to follow up with? I didn’t ask her for her permission to leave.
      Over and over, I’ve made mistakes that I feel badly about. But, I got conned by a former friend to join. Got conned by all the events that it is great to be in this “business.” Now this woman is trying to leave and that’s being manipulated too. Horrible.

  2. Shay

    Remember how Michelle Cunningham website said the princess are generic? Well look here. When you go to book a party.. https://m.imgur.com/a/0mb1BEX
    also, you can only book on Saturdays in 2 1/2 hour blocks 11-1:30 and the highest is $600, but average package is $350 how the hell can you pay rent / mortgage off that and get your life back, Miss Cunningham?

  3. Char

    She is also using a false premise to manipulate you. Don’t get tripped up by her language.

    “FALSE PREMISE: A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument or syllogism. Since the premise (proposition, or assumption) is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error. However, the logical validity of an argument is a function of its internal consistency, not the truth value of its premises.“

    – Being a Mary Kay consultomer/MLMer is not a business. The only “business” that you’re in is the “business” of scamming others – or being scammed yourself.

    – A sales director is not a “sales” director. They are an order recruiting pimpette for Mary Kay INC..

    – Training is not “sales” training. It’s training to be an endless-chain recruiter aka pyramid schemer who also orders stuff from the company.

    – “Wholesale” is just a label. It’s technically retail to you from MK Inc, and then you try to re-sell it at DOUBLE retail – usually unsuccessfully unless ripping off Aunt Henrietta.

    – And “inventory“. Yep, I have a lot of Lululemon inventory in my closet. I admit it.

    To reiterate Tracy’s point of: “The truth is that all she really cares about is you not returning your inventory so she doesn’t get a commission chargeback. She doesn’t care what you do with that inventory, as long as you don’t send it back to Mary Kay.“

    Yes, she’s an endless-chain recruiter who finds suckers to buy large orders of stuff under the illusion that you’re starting a business. She, the director, gets a kickback from the company for her pyramid scheming efforts. You return your PURCHASE, she gets her commission taken away. When you think of it that way, duh. Right? Of course she doesn’t want you to return it.

    Also, “If Returned to the Mary Kay – You are closing the door indefinitely to your Mary Kay opportunity. You may not be a consultant again“.

    Let me translate without the false premise:

    You are closing the door indefinitely to buying lots of stuff and/or being a pyramid schemer for Mary Kay. You may not be allowed to be a scammer anymore, or be scammed yourself, again. Hallelujah!

  4. Brooke

    This may be a very dumb question, but if you do send your products back for the 90% buy back and later on change your mind and want to be a consultant again (which, why?) why would they tell you “no”? Wouldn’t that mean they (MKI) make more money?

    Again, I apologize for the dumb question, but it’s crossed my mind a few times and I couldn’t find a proper answer.

    1. NayMKWay

      That’s just another lie to scare you into keeping your unsold product. They pretend your returning product permanently disqualifies you from rejoining, but in fact a token fee and a letter to Corporate (“It was all a mistake! My husband forced me to do it! Etc!”) will magically requalify you.

      The only thing that might permanently disqualify you is if you get booted by MK for violating their rules, as has happened to some people who were pretty high in the pyramid.

    2. BestDecision

      It’s the looming threat that keeps people from severing their ties. It tends to be only those that are truly sick of the brand itself that do repurchase without hesitation or fear of missing out in the future.

  5. NayMKWay

    To anyone visiting this site who is considering leaving Mary Kay, do not fall for this manipulation. If your director contacts you for a pretend “exit interview,” just tell her this:

    “As CEO of my own Mary Kay business, I do not feel an exit interview is appropriate. If you have some points you’d like to make, feel free to email them to me. Good-bye.” (*click*)

    The beauty of this little mini-script is that you get a chance to throw their own lie back in their face. When you signed up, it was under the pretense that you were going to be your own boss, so they should accept that you don’t work for them and are under no obligation to do what they say.

    1. Brooke

      It was just a question. I’ve always wondered, not that I’d ever want to be a consultant again (I’m so glad I’m done), but just needed a solid answer for myself (and any other people I know that are afraid to disappoint people due to low self-esteem – that way I can give them an honest answer).

      1. Juliet

        Brooke, I know exactly what you mean in seeking out an absolute yes or no answer to the question of can you become a consultant again if you returned your inventory. I want yes or no answers on issues that affect people where the answers seem to be intentionally unclear and hard to locate, so that, such as with mk, I can ASSURE someone who wants to leave that no, you likely are not banished for life from the pyramid! Maybe, but not likely.

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