The Mary Kay Way: Lies

If I had to boil down my beef with Mary Kay Cosmetics into one word, it would be LIES. I can’t stand all the lies that consultants and directors tell. Corporate actively encourages telling the lies and blatantly misleading others, and is well aware that it is being done by the sales force. It’s just a fact… there is rampant deception in the process, from recruiting all the way through quitting.

Is it a small problem that is being committed by a few? No, it is a huge problem in Mary Kay being perpetrated by most. Yes, I said it. I believe that most consultants and directors in Mary Kay are lying. Some are telling outright lies. Others are telling many lies of omission. Either way, they’re lies.

Here is one former director’s story and the lies and deception that her “sister” director used to cheat her. Unfortunately, things like this seem to be the norm in Mary Kay.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you sooooo much for Pink Truth! The site has been HUGE in helping me sift through the many emotions and decisions surrounding my Mary Kay exit after 10 years with the company, 5 of those as a sales director with offspring and Premier Club.

I recently shipped back my products, but after returning all I was able to, I still had over $8,000 retail on my shelves. As you can imagine, I have been hoping to continue to service my customers to deplete that inventory. In fact, as I was boxing up my inventory to send back to Mary Kay, I was careful to keep the items that customers had been ordering over the past year. I figured that I could service my regular customers through their next 3 to 4 reorders.

The customers I’m referring to aren’t just casual acquaintances that bought from me once. I’m talking about my family, my husband’s family, good friends, and customers that have been with me for a good portion of my 10 years in MK.

I informed my customers that I was decreasing my involvement in Mary Kay and that I had gotten a full-time job. They knew I had plenty of products to service them, and if they would ever need something I didn’t have on hand, I’d be more than happy to find it for them.

My plan was this: When I couldn’t properly service my customers or I didn’t have the products they wanted, I’d ask them if they’d like me to refer them to an active consultant. My customers knew this, and everything was going fine.

And then another sales director got involved. We’ve both been in Mary Kay for about 10 years, and I felt that we got very close. She was certainly one of my closest “buddies” in Mary Kay and I love her like family.

When I told her I was giving up my directorship, we stopped talking so often. When I told her I was returning my products to Mary Kay, things got even more strained.

My decision to return the products was simple. I wasn’t going to do Mary Kay full time anymore, I had given up my directorship and car, and I needed a car of my own. I had far too much product on my shelf and it made sense to return it and use the money to buy a car.

When I told this director that I had returned my products, she said that she’d be happy to take all of my customers. I explained to her that I had lots of inventory and planned to service my customer base as long as I could.

But two months later I got the surprise of my life. I was visiting with a family member who told me that she had received a Look Book from this other director. She also mentioned another customer of mine who also received one from the other director. Then I found out about a third person who had received a mailing from her and had placed an order with her.

Of course, I was shocked that this other director had done a mailing to my customers. After confirming with Mary Kay that they had not given my PCP mailing list to anyone, I called the director and asked her how she got my customer list. She told me that our senior director gave her the list.

I was very upset because my customers hadn’t given me their permission to give out their information. I planned on getting their permission when the time came… but this wasn’t the time.

The director said she was sure I’d want her to have my customers because I knew she’d do a good job with them. After I had already told her no????

I called my senior to find out how she got my customer list and why she would have done this to me. She tried to wiggle out of it by saying that the customers deserved to be “well taken care of” and that this other director was the logical person to give the customer list to.

I asked my senior how she got my list, and she reminded me that a year prior I had given her my In Touch password so she could see one of my reports. But she didn’t have any permission to use the password after that. She said that once Mary Kay called her and told her that I was returning my products, she logged into my account and printed out my customer list.

Adding insult to injury, my senior told me that once I returned my products to Mary Kay, that my customers weren’t my customers anymore and that I shouldn’t be representing myself as a consultant when I’m not one. I told her there was nothing prohibiting me from selling off my inventory even after I quit. She said “corporate doesn’t see it that way” and challenged me to call Mary Kay’s legal department and ask them.

I never expected my “sister” directors to do this to me. To break into my In Touch account, essentially steal my customer list, and contact my customers behind my back. They knew that I had a lot of inventory and now my opportunity to sell it is in jeopardy, thanks to their deceptions. So much for the “Mary Kay Way.”


    1. BestDecision

      It’s pathetic how they claim to be Godly, yet they ignore you and talk badly about you after you’ve left. No matter how high of road you take, they sucker punch you to lift themselves up. Anything to cast bad light on your leaving so their sheep don’t question where you went and why.

  1. Char

    “The customers I’m referring to aren’t just casual acquaintances that bought from me once. I’m talking about my family, my husband’s family, good friends, and customers that have been with me for a good portion of my 10 years in MK.“ –

    MLMers are taught to target friends and family for a buck. If I were in sales, it is these very people that I’d probably NOT look to profit off of. I’d at least pass on the wholesale cost if I could. I just wouldn’t feel right profiting off them with overpriced stuff that they can buy cheaper elsewhere.

    The movie “Five Flights Up” is a pretty good depiction of these types of people. The niece realtor was a real tool.

    The point of this article is not lost on me. It highlights the unethical shenanigans that go on in MLM. I just wanted to call attention to the double whammy. Suffice it to say, there is nothing good about MLM no matter how she twists it.

        1. Char

          I certainly never meant to use, or imply, anything anti-Semitic. Of course, I had to look it up to know whether I should ever use that term again:

          “As Garner points out, however, the word shyster “has long been an enigma to English-language etymologists.” But the enigma was “conclusively” solved in 1982 when one Gerald Cohen wrote Origin of the Term “Shyster.” Shyster, it turns out, was born, of all places, here in New York City. Perhaps that should come as no surprise given the number of lawyers in this town.

          Cohen found no anti-Semitism in the derivation of shyster. It was coined by a Manhattan newspaper editor in 1843-1844. Cohen described how the newspaper was on a crusade against legal and political corruption then in the city. During this crusade, the editor formed the word “shyster” from the vulgar German word Scheisse (= excrement), hence “scheisser” became “shyster.” This, says respected lexicologist Garner, is the correct etymology of shyster. “ —

          The niece realtor was a real piece of corrupt excrement. (Fixed it)

          1. NayMKWay

            Perhaps “shyster” is considered by some to be anti-Semitic because of its similarity to “Shylock,” which was the name of a Jewish money-lender in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” which is considered my many to be an anti-Semitic work. On the other hand, the play includes the famous “Hath not a Jew eyes? … If you prick us, do we not bleed?” speech, so the debate rages on about Shylock.

    1. notasucker

      I lost a so called “friend” who became a MK consultant recently because after ordering a couple products from her, I found I could buy them for less than half the price on eBay. I let her know this and she blew up!! Made threats and accusations that had nothing to do with MK but only after she tried to tell me that these other products were no good and that they could have been sitting for months or years on a shelf (like MK consultant products they front load aren’t?). She also went into how she did the MK “legal” and that it was illegal to sell and/or buy these products from eBay. (it is not so so much for her MK legal certificate!) She then lied that she didn’t charge me a shipping fee because I was a “friend” but my total for products was $30 and my charge was $35.85 so I don’t know how I got FREE shipping. I have a family I help out and could really use the savings on these overpriced MK products and why I was honest with her but that was the end of the friendship. She unfriended me on Facebook but I see the continued lies on her MK website. She tried recruiting me as well but I know the lies and deception with MK. Most recently I saw she was trying to recruit others and the whole “own your own business” where “you cannot fail” for the low cost of $30. ROFL I didn’t realize I had a friend I had to “buy” to support her MK business but I thank MK and Pink Truth for all the information I found here! This experience has been a real eye-opener for me!

  2. Heather

    Dear lord… this happened to me (although I stupidly didn’t return products). I had customers calling and emailing me, angry that this “new person” was sending them catalogs and whatnot. I NEVER once gave anyone permission to contact my customers, and MK gave my senior all of their information. I was livid when I found out. I called corporate and said that this was completely and totally unacceptable. I also let my customers know in a few words as possible that I had never, ever given the company or my senior permission to share their information or contact them. In fact, the majority of customers were angry that corporate did this and ceased purchasing products from MK. (When I made the decision to quit/leave, I did put many customers in contact with local consultants who were honest and only interesting in selling products. Family essentially received a 50% discount and got whatever they wanted from my inventory.)

    This tactic appears to be far too common in MK and other MLMs. I hate it.

  3. pinkblacksheep

    While there are so many other stories of shaming, shunning, lies, cheating, crushing debt, and manipulative “MK besties,” this is so bad because it’s downright stealing.

    She owes you the profits she made on your customers. It’s immoral, illegal (using a password without permission), and a violation of the NCA. Karma is a bitch.

    Or, since MK is all about Christianity (devout Episcopalian here, that didn’t go over well at Leadership or a Fall Advance) here’s what the Bible says about such hurtful treachery.

    Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 10:2

    The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in
    people who are trustworthy. Proverbs 12:22

    Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7

    And the applicable portions of the New Consultant Agreement:

    >>Customer names and addresses furnished by Beauty Consultant to Company<>shall remain the SOLE property of Beauty Consultant<< and will NOT be used by Company or disclosed by Company to other parties without Beauty Consultant’s permission, except as may be required by law.

    In other words, the company needs to tell that director to knock it off, and the resigning consultant needs to send a quick cease and desist letter to the wrongful user of her customer list. Registered mail with a return request so you knlw they got it. And finish up with handwritten notes and maybe a coupon to your customer list explaining the situation.

    I'm just a Paralegal, so can an attorney fact check me?

    This shit is unacceptable and wrong on so many levels.

  4. Mountaineer95

    This behavior is so hypocritical, because the upline and corporate already considered your wholesale purchases as “sold retail” product. Especially what you DIDN’T send back! The upline was already paid commission on that product and won’t get any chargeback from it. So if they, and corporate, already consider it to be “sold” (which they their unit and area numbers) then why can’t you actually sell it?

    1. Heather

      Ten dollars for a hand soap???? I can buy four Bath and Body Works hand soaps for that price when I catch the sales.

      Now if the ten-dollar soap did other things for me, like fold my laundry or clean the bathroom, I would consider purchasing it.

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