Mary Kay’s On Hold Order Scam

Written by Parsonsgreen

For years, Mary Kay directors relied on a trick at month end regarding on hold orders. A large order could be placed and held for processing for a few days after the month ended. The director could then find consultants that she could use to pay for those orders – using their cards. If the director couldn’t find anyone, she could allow the order to go through on her own cards. Mary Kay allows consultants and directors to use up to four cards per transaction.

Earlier this year it was announced that there would be changes to the on hold order status. And now, with the Mary Kay InTouch Upgrade, systems issues are keeping directors from using this method! Sales directors are losing their minds since they used this method to game the system and buy themselves extra time to meet ordering goals.

Karen was only $700 short of her team’s goal. She placed a $700 order on hold. She had a consultant that wanted to place a $600 order but InTouch would not let Karen replace part of her order with her consultant’s order. So Karen had to place a $700 herself when she was expecting to only place a $100 order.

I thought you were only supposed to order product that was paid for by a customer?


And finally some good advice from nsd Lily Gauthreaux! Treat the month end like it is actually the month end.



  1. Karen writes like a 7 year old would. They say how you write is a window into how you think.

    “…slowly but surely our amazing company going to a different direction…” Or maybe, just maybe it’s all simply crystalizing – what was there all along.

    “…our first lady…” That’s NOT cult talk.

  2. I’m just imagining all the drah-mah that’s going to erupt when everyone is trying to float their 11:59 pm, 06/30/2024 orders in order to meet their crazy seminar goals and this happens.

    Ladies, please get out of MK and take a job where you don’t need to order a boatload of stuff every month in order to stay employed. You’ll be so much happier when you don’t have to dread the end of the month.

  3. I’m happy that this discussion thread was turned into an official post! I read the discussion thread yesterday and was scratching my head trying to figure out what Karen was trying to say, or even some of the responses to her. The English is SO bad! As you might guess from my tongue-in-cheek user name, that sort of thing matters to me.

    Aside from the wretched writing, I cannot imagine how this frenetic, financially draining busy work could ever be perceived as a “job.” The sun would appear dark in my eyes if I had to do this sort of thing every day, or even every month. Are these the people who sneer at “soul-sucking corporate jobs”? Do they ever listen to themselves?

  4. “Game the system to meet ordering goals”

    I suspect there’s always “gaming” going on to meet various MK goals. Not everyone is privy to the strategies.

    I also think it’s sad that adult women fear saying anything negative because they’ll be reported to the Thought Police. They are independent contractors, not employees.

    • I’m just real, real, real sad to be learning that this is how the Mary Kay company even works (operates)!! How sad, . . and I hope all women get out of Mary Kay. I’ll never purchase one thing from Mary Kay. Smh. So sad. It sounds like it’s a great big scam with a pink car offering. This is awful!

  5. I’m not sure why Karen is worried. I mean don’t products fly off the shelves and don’t you need a full cart in order to fully service your customers?

    • Excess inventory isn’t a problem, either. All she has to do is hold 3 more parties a week this month and sell it all. Problem solved.

  6. MK Sales Directors: We only want to work with women of integrity.

    Also MK Sales Directors: Why are they taking away our ability to cheat the day the calendar month ends???

  7. One of the last orders I filled that sealed the deal on washing my pink hands was a direct ship order I processed. I put the wrong address in, but immediately noticed it was incorrect. I called the company right away (as in, instantly). They said there was nothing they could do. My choices were:
    A. Wait for the order to be returned from the incorrect address – who knew if that would happen!
    B. Place another order to replace the incorrect order.
    C. Fill the order from my personal inventory.
    D. Go find the address that I shipped it to and tell them what had happened, and retrieve the order myself.
    Of course, waiting for the order to be returned would be weeks or months, if it was even returned.
    The company also suggested I contact ProPay and see if they could stop the order since I paid through them. ProPay told me they couldn’t do anything and to contact MK.
    I ended up placing another order for my customer and eating the loss. Of course I had already given a generous discount.
    And yes, the people I talked to on the phone were grouchy and unhelpful. Barking dogs, blaring TVs, screaming kids. The olden days of relatively friendly service are gone. Good for those folks though, working from home! Just like me as an “independent beauty consultant” with MK 😂😂 enjoying my “work from home business.”
    Lots of great (expensive, painful) lessons in MK.
    Grateful again it’s a memory.

  8. “Game the system to meet ordering goals”

    News flash: Front-loading is “gaming the system”, but on the consultant side. On-hold orders are “gaming the system” on the MK side. I would argue that promoting front-loading is far more destructive and dishonest than the on-hold orders game, which hurts no one directly. And front-loading is a magical way of getting folks to over-order these over-priced products in quantities greater then the consultant can hope of using or selling.

  9. “Mary Kay allows consultants and directors to use up to four cards per transaction.” If there is any sure indicator that your “business” is sliding deeply into debt, it’s when you have to use multiple credit cards to order products to resell.

    • I can just see Jeff Bezos pulling out all of his credit/ charge cards checking to see if he has enough space to pay for this month’s inventory.

  10. Yeah but the only reason corporate is “pushing regulations” is because heat is coming down on them. Otherwise they are the ones who built in ways/means/manipulation to get more product ordered in the first place. That is why MK is kind of a tricky one on the “MLM sketchy-ness” spectrum. They appear to follow legal guidelines to a T and uphold high standards by promoting and training how to legitimately work the business. However the underlying business plan itself is rigged so that most fail.
    I’ve always seen on hold orders and heard my director mention them over the years. Didn’t realize that she has probably done this very thing to maintain production. She often says “we just need 5 more orders for this month” and I always wondered if she was just doing the math on the minimum 225 wholesale x however many= what she’s short. And then ordering what’s leftover at the end.
    Either way, let’s not forget that the company has been indoctrinating people for years to go into debt ordering and be devoted to it. So let’s remember where the blame falls ultimately. Sure not everyone in MK is great but we have been severely manipulated

    • I like your screen name, Letting Go. Letting go is really difficult.
      I agree with you – we were severely manipulated. It took a major life awakening for me to realize that. I personally know several of those women in the screen shots above. One of them even sent me a sympathy card when my mom passed away.
      There are real salt of the earth women in MK. The company uses us like pawns in their chess game. I read somewhere they go through tens of thousands of consultants each month?? What “lazy loosers”!! 🤣
      The optics are good, though. I think it’s why MK is super tricky to discern. Think about it – the product they sell even makes you not as you appear. It’s the ultimate sleight of hand.
      It must be known what’s going on behind The Pink Curtain.


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