Friday, March 14, 2008

Should initial inventory purchases be limited?

It is interesting to read the different comments about initial inventory purchases.

Let me throw a few ideas out there, and then let me know what you think.

What if.....
  • ...consultants could only order a maximum of $600-1200 in their first order.
  • ...the time limit for the initial inventory bonus was extended from 2 weeks to 2 months (or some other time frame)
  • ...there were a "waiting period" between when the application was submitted and when a consultant could purchase inventory (such as 5 days or longer)?

What do you think? Are there any other limits or suggestions you would like to see?


  1. I don't think MKC should put a limit on initial orders. I do think directors should focus on a small order, though. As I said in a previous post, most people who are recruited into MK are NOT salesman. They are usually not schooled in skin care or cosmetics. Why would anyone think they could sell loads of it right away? There is no harm in placing a small order and seeing where that takes you.

    I think it all comes back to what the recruiters encourage. Is she thinking about the consultant or herself? I just don't see the wisdom in a large initial order until you know how you will do in this business.

  2. Eversleigh, I completely agree with you again...."is she thinking about the consultant or herself?"

    You know it’s a novel idea to limit the first inventory order but I don’t think it would work. Again, until the new consultant gets out there and is holding appointments, she doesn’t know what people will purchase or how much they will purchase. This will be different for each and every person based on many factors.

    I like the idea of extending the bonus timeframe. I would also like to see the bonus come into play after cumulative orders within a quarter not just after the initial order.

    Again I don’t think the waiting period idea would work but I think there should be a cooling off period to change your mind without 90%ing. For example, if you came in with a $4500 w/s order but after three months you were unable to sell a chunk of product for whatever reason, it would be beneficial to be able to return that back to the company without terminating your agreement.

    Just my two cents.

  3. Dave I just wanted you to know that I think that you have a great cowriter for this blog. Shay is doing an excellent job of keeping the topics interesting!

    I dont think a limit would help, because once again that would only punish those that are not out to take advantage of others. But I do think that a director should not go overboard in encouraging large inventory right off the bat. If a consultant wants to go that route after hearing all the facts then let it be her choice, but starting small should be celebrated just as much as starting big.

  4. *blush* Thanks, foreverpink! :o)

  5. There is no way MK is going to put a limit on anything that directors suggest its making too much money for them. What company would put a limit on how much product someone orders it wouldnt make good business sense. I think the consultant AND directors should be encouraged to read their materials and book as many appts and facials as they can and the numbers will take care of themselves.

  6. 1. Keep the "signature look" bonus timeframe at 2 weeks. It kicks in at a min $600 order, and it allows the new consultant to have a "look" with MK products without having to take from her new stock.

    2. Eliminate bonuses for initial orders over $1800. Instead keep a new consultant on a modified Ready, Set, Sell bonus system for 3 months after the initial order, instead of the Biz Builders bonus for the 2nd and later orders. For each additional $600 order that the new consultant places over the 3 month period, then she gets an addl $100 retail in product, up to a overall total of $3600 W ordered in the 3 month period (there also needs to be some "slop" built into the definition of a $600 order so that the consultant can order $610 or $625 and not trip the $3600 limit, but that's easy to program.) My point is that the vast majority of consultants do not start off planning to make this a full time business, so why do they need a "Full (time) store" when they start?

    3. Insert a note into the Ready Set Sell brochure that limited edition items should not form more than 10% of an initial order.

    4. I think that in most cases you already have a de facto waiting period. Only the Company knows this exactly, but I think most consultants wait for their Starter Kit before placing their 1st order.

    5. A problem that I can see here is that a new consultant does not have a Ready Set Sell brochure until her Starter Kit arrives, unless her director/recruiter gives her one, or she finds it on Intouch. (It's a multiple drill-down: Education -> Business Basics -> Starter Kit Information, or use the search box. The problem is that a brand new consultant won't know what to search for.) Therefore, an unethical director/recruiter can have her own "homemade" inventory worksheet.

    6. Get rid of the bonus definition of Agreement month and A+1, and change it to 60 days. Most people have a calendar, and InTouch can be programmed with a countdown date and automatic email reminders.

    Shay, Eversleigh has made the comment about most new MK consultants are not salesmen at least two times now. I think that this view deserves its own thread. (PS. I don't think that it makes a difference whether they are or not.)

  7. Okay, mkhonesty - I'll get a post up about that ASAP. :o)

  8. I tend to not always be very articulate, MKHonesty. The reason I have brought up the "consultants are not salesman" bit is because of the large inital inventories. If a person is familiar with selling, then a larger order would be more appropriate. They would have a better idea of what they were getting into. They could "sell" it. But someone who has never had a selling job, who has never been self employed, who has never done anything like MK, she could quickly find herself totally out of her league. That's why I don't agree with large initial orders. There's really no big rush.

    Personally, when I started out, I had no idea what I was doing. It was very much a learning process. I had to learn about the products. I had to learn how to present them. I had to learn about skin care in general, about cosmetic application. There was a lot to learn. A huge inventory would have scared me. I got the $1800 package and that was scary enough. I cannot imaging a full store!

  9. I think mkhonesty made some excellent suggestions as well as some others.

    I personally do not feel Mary Kay has the right to restrict the amount of a first order, the decision should be up to the new recruit. However, I think perhaps there should be a release (with terms like, I have read about the different choices...)or something that states the new consultant has read the Ready, Set, Sell brochure or an inventory choices handout or something so that they have had the personal responsibility to have read about the different levels and are informed. This would also reaffirm that they had received something other than the directors advice. And until they have read the info, the order will not be released.

    I have had a few consultants in the past that had either been consultants before or were very up on MK, the products and had parties booked and were ready to rock and roll, why should they have to wait? Or be restricted to someone else's opinion on what amount they should start with.

    Many complain that we are suppose to be "self-employed" and that there are too many restrictions for them (types of advertizing,etc.) can you imagine the fuss if Mary Kay started telling people when they could order product and how much?

    If you are ready to start your own MK business, you should be old enough to make adult decisions including and not restricted to inventory decisions. I just believe they should be fully informed.

    I have heard of directors that don't show that a consultant can come in with less then a $600 because they don't want them coming in with just a $200 - I disagree with that just as much as I disagree with a director telling them they need a full store.

    I believe our job as directors are to lay out all of the options - giving that facts and letting the consultant make an informed decision.

  10. I wasn't given an option of anything less than $600 and therefore didn't know $200 was an option. Inventory wasn't mentioned until AFTER I had signed my agreement.

    I felt like this practice was VERY dishonest! Perhaps if they had a notice or something that new consultants had to sign, giving ALL options prior to entering the first order?

    Also I agree with those who suggested extending the initial inventory bonus time limit and perhaps even require 1 skin care class within that extended time frame (30 or 60 days).

    That way you would get 'some' training & experience first and it would require your recruiter to work with you to get everything scheduled and held.

  11. rural -

    One reason I chose not to sign with someone I know locally is that very reason - I was told by her that I could not come in with less than a $600 order. Period.

    I feel that is very dishonest and there is no excuse for something like that.

    This same person also told me I had to order a minimum of $200 each month in order to stay active. :o(

  12. The ones who do these dishonest things cause a lot of issues for the rest of us!

  13. It also has to do with common sense. I just purchased my starter kit a few days ago and am meeting with my director (who is an amazing woman) today to purchase my inventory. We have options to choose whether we want to purchase inventory or not; if you don't know a lot of people that are interested in MK right off the bat, then don't purchase inventory until you build a good customer base. A lot of my friends love MK, so I will most likely purchase inventory, but not a lot. I am just getting started and want to see how well I do before I drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on inventory. My director is awesome and has only helped and not pushed me into doing anything I'm not willing or ready for, and even if she WAS putting pressure on me, I'm smart enough to know my limits and say no. All of these people who have had bad experiences and been "forced" to buy extra inventory is, in my opinion, just lacking in common sense. Start small until you get the hang of it and build a customer base. COMMON SENSE LADIES! QUIT BEING SO GULLIBLE!


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