Welcome to Just the FAQs, a dedicated site designed to answer commonly asked questions about Mary Kay. Whether you’re a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, a prospective Independent Beauty Consultant, a customer or simply a visitor, this site provides clear and easy access to important information about the Mary Kay opportunity and the founding philosophies upon which the Company was built.
We've chosen a few topics to get us started, but keep in mind, this is just the beginning. Stay tuned – we'll be adding more topics in the weeks ahead.
Mary Kay Inc. is always looking at new products in order to keep up with current trends and be competitive in the marketplace. In a marketplace driven by innovation, it is critical to stay competitive by introducing new products. Targeted products, that treat special concerns and work along with our core skin care line, are introduced to the product lineup to meet needs that are expressed by consumers. Limited-edition color items are introduced periodically to reflect the trends of the season. Our core product lines are updated once every 3 to 5 years to take advantage of the latest innovations in skin care. And although we don't do it often, we occasionally update our packaging to ensure that we continue to stay on trend and keep our presentation current and fresh. Remember that we're in the fast-changing cosmetics business. Much like the automobile, fashion and consumer electronics industries, in the cosmetics industry, newness is what attracts customers to the brand.
The bottom line is that innovation is essential to remaining competitive in our market. While change may be uncomfortable at times, it demonstrates the willingness of both our Company and the independent sales force to deliver products that excite and address the needs and desires of their customers.
With respect to inventory, our goal is to communicate to the independent sales force any changes to regular-line products at least three to six months in advance. This allows for adjustment of their inventory levels and helps them make informed decisions in the meantime in regard to their product orders and needs. In addition, whenever significant changes are made, we share tips to help them manage their inventory in the months leading up to the changes.
Pyramid schemes are illegal operations in which compensation for representatives' activities is based primarily on recruiting, not on the sale of legitimate products or services. Typically, in a pyramid scheme, inventory is not repurchased by the company.
Companies operating such scams are not permitted to be members of the Direct Selling Association ("DSA"). Mary Kay and the DSA have strongly endorsed effective anti-pyramid legislation and enforcement. Many states, including Texas, have adopted effective anti-pyramid laws.
We encourage anyone considering a direct-selling opportunity to find out if the company in which they're interested is a member of the DSA, of which Mary Kay is a longtime member. Member companies pledge to abide by and uphold DSA's strict Code of Ethics. Included in the DSA Code of Ethics is, among other things, the requirement that the member company repurchase inventory from the representative at 90 percent of the original net cost. This is a key distinguishing feature that allows law enforcement officials to easily identify a legitimate direct-selling company.
Absolutely not. Pyramids are illegal. The following points concerning the Mary Kay marketing plan are of particular importance in distinguishing it from illegal pyramid schemes:
A. There is one wholesale sale (Company to Independent Beauty Consultant) and one retail sale (from Beauty Consultant to customer) of Mary Kay® products. There are no levels of wholesalers between the Company and the consumer through which products pass at varying discounts before sales. Thus everyone, whether Independent Beauty Consultant or Independent Sales Director (Sales Director of sales unit of Independent Beauty Consultants), purchases all cosmetics products directly from the Company at the same published wholesale prices for resale to consumers of their choice. Everyone has the opportunity to buy at the same discount irrespective of their status on the independent sales force career path.
B. Everyone recruited as an Independent Beauty Consultant is recruited to sell products at retail. Independent Beauty Consultants do not recruit others to buy products from them. All Independent Beauty Consultants are thus aware that all products purchased by them are for sale at retail to ultimate consumers (or may be returned to the Company for repurchase).
C. Every Mary Kay independent sales force member begins as an Independent Beauty Consultant with the purchase of a Starter Kit. No compensation is earned by anyone on this Starter Kit purchase. The products and sales tools included in the Starter Kit are designed to introduce a new Independent Beauty Consultant to Mary Kay and help her begin building her business. No "investment" is required and no status on the independent sales force career path may be purchased by the payment of fees or by the purchase of a given quantity of products from the Company or anyone else. There are thus no "sales" of "levels", "positions", "distributorships" or "franchises" by the Company or any of the Independent Beauty Consultants.
D. Elevation from Independent Beauty Consultant to Independent Sales Director does not involve the payment of any fee, rebate, premium or hidden discount of any kind to either the Company or anyone else. Elevation, at the election of any Independent Beauty Consultant, is based strictly upon individual effort and ability.
E. Any Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant who terminates her contractual relationship with the Company may return unsold products in original and unused condition, and these will be repurchased by the Company per the terms of the Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement at 90 percent of her original net cost.
F. The Company pays all commissions directly to Independent Beauty Consultants and Independent Sales Directors. The commissions are paid based upon monthly purchases and recorded on computer reports furnished with the commission payments. The entire marketing structure is based on and intended to foster retail sales to ultimate consumers. Commissions paid on any products returned for repurchase by the Company by an Independent Beauty Consultant terminating her Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement, pursuant to Item E above (i.e., products not sold at retail), are charged back to the commission recipient.