Mary Kay Inventory “Investment” Con

The secret to getting Mary Kay consultants (especially new ones) to order lots of inventory is overcoming their objections. New consultants typically are skeptical about spending thousands of dollars on inventory that they’re not even sure they can sell. But no need to test the waters and hold a few classes before you order! ORDER NOW! You’ll sell tons. Trust me.

And so the con game goes. You want to be successful, don’t you? Would a store open without anything on its shelves? Do you think women really want to wait for their cosmetics? Order now. Order often. Have lots on hand and you’ll be successful.

Still not convinced that you need to order thousands of dollars of inventory from the start? Your Mary Kay director will bring out the big guns: It’s an investment. Debt bad. Investment good. Investment is not debt. Credit card or not, it’s not debt. It’s an investment. Get it? An investment in your family’s future.

More is more. More is not less. Not less money to feed your children. Not less money to put clothes on their backs. More products means more opportunity to profit.

And the below story is one that has been circulated for years in Mary Kay. There’s only one huge problem with it: The story assumes that you’ll be able to sell all of the inventory you’ve ordered. Anyone who’s ever been in Mary Kay and is honest about it will tell you that it is extremely difficult to sell the product.

Oh yeah, there is an occasional woman who is beating down your door to order something. Once in a while you’ll find a hostess who has 8 women show up for your class and you get 5 new bookings. But those instances are so few and far between. The truth is that very little of the Mary Kay products are actually retailed. The vast majority (I estimate more than 80%) actually sits in basements and garages.

So while this “investment” con sounds great when you’re in the pink fog, those of us out of Mary Kay recognize the story for what it is: pure fiction.

We have some money to invest and I was thinking about the story one NSD told. While she and her husband were lolling around the pool he said, “Honey, I meant to tell you; I invested $10,000 in (whatever) and we will make 7% interest in 7 years.”

She said, “Oh, really?” He said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “Nothing.” He said, “I know something is wrong; what is it?” She said, “I know you think of yourself as a great businessman.” He said, “so tell me what’s wrong.”

She said, “Well, I was thinking that if you had invested the $10,000 in Mary Kay products, I would have received 13% (her Unit Commission) on $10,000 immediately – that would be $1,300, plus, some gorgeous prize, probably a TOP TRIP with Mary Kay and 50% – $10,000, when I sold it!

And it wouldn’t take me 7 years to sell it! That would be $11,300 we would make on our $10,000. A consultant with 5 recruits would make the same commission as the NSD!

Do you look at your MK inventory as an investment, or something you hope you can sell? What are you making on your Money Market Account? 4%, 5%? How about your savings account, 2 1/2%, and CD’s, 5%? If you’re doing GREAT in the Stock Market you may make 15%, (and no one is doing great in Stock Market right now), or you may lose it all! We have looked into different plans such as an annuity which makes 7% if we invested $15,000 and leave it there for 10 years. Bonds could make 4% or 5%, if interest rates are high, but they’re low so that won’t work.

I have money in a IRA. That’s good. However, I am past the age where I can add to it and if I take it out I am taxed on the full amount THIS YEAR. Everyone is telling you to plan for your retirement. I do believe that you need to start some kind of retirement RIGHT NOW!

Oh, you aren’t making enough money to save any? Work your MK (along with your regular job) and put your profit into a retirement account. You say you don’t have time to do anymore than you are doing now? Sure you do. You better, if you want any money when you’re 65 or older.

The best interest you can get on your money RIGHT NOW is to invest in your Mary Kay Inventory (at 55% UNTIL JUNE 28TH) and learn to be the best Mary Kay Consultant in the business. Listen to motivational tapes in your car daily. Other consultants are doing it. Find out how.

Do you get tax benefits at your other job? What if you can’t sell it? Oh, well, the only reason you wouldn’t be able to sell it is if you never told anyone that you were a Consultant. What if you have to send it back to Mary Kay. So what! You had to have sold some of it at 50%. You can’t lose any money.

What about the interest on the loan? What about it? When you are working a profitable business, making a lot of money you need tax benefits. It is important to get your TAXABLE INCOME down to as close to zero as possible. Say you are making $40,000 at your job, then want enough tax shelters to get it down to as close to zero as you can. You probably don’t have ANY tax shelters working for someone else. With Mary Kay you do!

Maybe you do want to quit your job but you say, “The Company pays for my insurance”, not true, the Company doesn’t pay for your insurance, you do! They just don’t pay you what you are worth because they are using the money they should pay you to pay your insurance. DO YOU KNOW YOU CAN PAY FOR YOUR OWN HEALTH INSURANCE? THINK ABOUT IT!

16 Comments

  1. Heather

    What the hell was that? That’s not how investments work. Plus you sure as heck are not making 10k when you sell it all since you will be selling a LOT of that product at a discount of 25-40% (in order to get it GONE).

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  2. NayMKWay

    Between discounts and product that expires unsold, she’ll be lucky to break even. She’ll have put in many hours trying to make those few paltry sales when she could have been earning a decent wage (plus benefits) at a real job while that $10,000 earned interest with zero effort on her part.

    That 7 percent is starting to look pretty good now, isn’t it?

  3. Lazy Gardens

    Every company I have ever worked for considered large inventory to be a drag on their profits, not an investment. Ideally they would produce at a rate that let them sell as fast as they made things. Or for a reseller, keep turning that inventory over as fast as possible.

  4. Cindylu

    Trust. They spin lots of tall tales. Buy inventory blind. You honestly don’t know what will sell. Then the worst betrayal of all, is a company that is so unethical that it often changes its products at your expense. Front loading is the norm. Blaming the victim (MK Consultant or director) for a very flawed mlm is typical. MK corporate wins at your expense. Be very skeptical. If it sounds too good to be true then trust your instincts. MK has outlived its 1960’s direct sales party model. This has not worked for decades. Through front loading you are MK’s Customer.

  5. The Patient Whisperer

    “Maybe you do want to quit your job but you say, “The Company pays for my insurance”, not true, the Company doesn’t pay for your insurance, you do!”

    …except my company DOES pay for my insurance.

    This whole spiel is just diabolical.

    1. NayMKWay

      The benefits of being in a group insurance plan should not be overlooked, because the difference can be several hundred dollars a month. As you get up in years, it gets worse and worse; take it from the 60-something self-employed guy, here. We recently switched from a PPO to an HMO because it saved us about $15k per year.

  6. enorth

    MLMs love to play with words. For example, so many I see tout the, “You’re not required to carry inventory!” line. (But you ARE required to order a minimum amount each month to “qualify” to collect commissions/bonuses. You ARE required to order a certain amount to rank up or to maintain your rank, earn cars, etc.)

    So, you’re not “required to carry inventory” but you are required to continually ORDER inventory. And don’t give me the “personal use” lie. Distributors are NOT using up — or selling at retail — all the inventory they order each month…it is, indeed, “being carried.”

    When you read the various MLM comp plans , there are always a bunch of catches, and the company always wins. That’s the way the system is designed.

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  7. Char

    “She said, “Well, I was thinking that if you had invested the $10,000 in Mary Kay products, I would have received 13% (her Unit Commission) on $10,000 immediately – that would be $1,300 plus, some gorgeous prize, probably a TOP TRIP with Mary Kay and 50% – $10,000, when I sold it! ” –

    Hang on, is she saying spend 10K to get $1300 back?

    Well then, I’m taking my cash-back Visa immediately to Nordstrom’s, so I can make a percentage on my investment purchases. And, WHEN I run my yard sale next year, I’ll JUST resell everything for double what I paid. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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  8. Shay


    What about the interest on the loan? What about it? When you are working a profitable business, making a lot of money you need tax benefits. It is important to get your TAXABLE INCOME down to as close to zero as possible. Say you are making $40,000 at your job, then want enough tax shelters to get it down to as close to zero as you can. You probably don’t have ANY tax shelters working for someone else. With Mary Kay you do!

    And when you’re 65 it’s gonna suck you didn’t pay in to your retirement.

  9. Lynn

    I signed up for Mary Kay a couple months ago, really just to order products for myself at a discount. Which my consultant was super happy about and said it’s OK to work MK at any level you’re comfortable with! I’m no stranger to MLM companies (did 2 others in the past) and I really just thought by signing up for their minimum online access level, I’d be able to get products for myself at a discount and maybe a few gifts. I spent way more than planned in order to get my discount ($450 retail/$250 wholesale). I was still OK with that as I stocked up on a few skin care items for myself and felt like treating myself. Now I’m at the the of my “bonus” period where I can earn “FREE BONUSES!” And my consultant will not let it go.. I get texts and messages almost daily and feel like my responses are hitting a brick wall. Good for you for sharing this information on your website, keep it up girl!

    1. Lynn

      Actual texts I received this week to place an order:

      So… question for you!! I have THE CUTEST gift (makeup bag) I want to award you with, when you take my 24 items to 24 people in 24 hours sales challenge- and get your order in by tomorrow!!! 😜😋😜
      YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! Action overcomes MANY THINGS!!
      Here is the dialogue to send INDIVIDUALLY out to family/friends!! (You don’t have to limit it to 24)

      When I didn’t respond, I got this today…last day of April to get orders in by the end of month:

      Good morning, Beautiful!!
      I hope this text finds you doing great!! I have a question for you! Not sure if you are planning on kicking off your MK biz with this 24 item challenge from me so you can achieve that bonus bundle MK wants to give you… but either way, I was wondering if I may grab some products I need in your order (and if you need anything, obviously, we’d put it in there too)… I don’t know… I would just love for you to reap all the benefits AND… we can have it shipped here- and I can mail out what you would want and/or your free bonus bundle…!? 🤷‍♀️. Thoughts?? If not, that is absolutely fine.. just trying to think of all options for it to be a win/win. 🥰. I appreciate you!! ❤️

      I finally replied and said I’m not interested in ordering. We will see what happens next!

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