Thursday, July 24, 2008

?? on Packaging Changes & Off to Seminar!

I had one of those moments when I wondered if I have a unique experience with something or is the response I get standard. I have heard complaints from others that feel it is unfair when Mary Kay changes the packaging the product comes in (not the product – the box) . Complaints such as: they can not sell outdated product or the director knew of this change and unfairly overstocked the consultant with packaging that was soon to be changed to stick the consultant with product and thus requiring her to buy more.

I have never had a client turn down or not want to purchase a product because it doesn’t come in the same box as the picture. I do not discount it either. (Which by the way, I just double checked and looked thru the Look Book and honestly, I didn’t see one picture of our packaging. If I ever have a client order 2 of something and I happen to have one left in the former packaging and one in the new packaging, I simply tell them we are in the process of updating our packaging, do they mind?? I have had them laugh at me, and the most common response is: “who cares, we throw the box away anyway”.

Does anyone find the packaging changes detrimental to you business?

And you won’t hear from me much for the next week, I have got to go finish packing and I leave tomorrow for Seminar!! Woo Hoo, I am so looking forward to it this year.
I will have an update when I get back on how things were in Dallas!


The following is an edit from David Shepherd

Sorry for the intrusion... hold the presses... all that.

mk4me has asked me to inform everyone that she is not just talking about the packaging that gets thrown away. We all realize that the complaint about packaging also refers to changes like lipstick tubes, compact trays, etc... Obviously one will (or may) have more of an impact on your sales than the other.

The point of this post (per mk4me) is (partially) to "...generate conversation on how to move "changed" products..."

Please proceed as you were, with the realization that conversation (comments) on this post can (and should) include all aspects of the changes to packaging and how it impacts you as a consumer or a distributor (or neither!).

Again, sorry for the intrusion!



  1. No, my customers don't care when the box changes. They also laugh and say they throw away the box so it doesn't matter!

    My customers don't care that the color of the lipstick tube changed from pink to black. Actually, they really like the new black color and shape of the tube.

    (BTW, no, I've not gone into an ordering frenzy to get all new black tubes of lipstick. I just order to replace what I sell and phase in the new black tubes.)

    As for this complaint, "the director knew of this change and unfairly overstocked the consultant with packaging that was soon to be changed to stick the consultant with product and thus requiring her to buy more."

    What director in her right mind would do this?!?!?!! Why in the world would a director WANT to "stick the consultant with product"? The reason of requiring, or forcing, the poor consultant to then have to order more just doesn't cut it with me. That would be just outright self-sabotage on the part of that director. And --- why overstock the consultant? Let the Company deal with overstocked discontinued product.

    Increase the director's commission check? Uhmm, I'm not buying that one, either. Again, major self-sabotage on that director's part.

    Now here's a possible explanation for some of the claimed overstocking of soon to be discontinued products in that initial inventory order: The free product with the consultant's initial order that the Company gives. Maybe. Could be. In this instance, that was FREE (except for the sales tax on the retail value, but that's a legal requirement).

    It just makes me crazy nuts.

    I really don't believe that any directors are intentionally deliberately trying to "stick it" to the new consultant. Good golly. If so, why bother recruiting her in the first place? The director will lose that commission in a charge back when that consultant returns her product for the 90% buy back.

    And if we're just talking about the BOX it comes in, or the color of the tube, or the shape of the bottle, not the formula or the color of the product - excuse me?!! ???? Why is that even an issue?

  2. speaking the real truthJuly 25, 2008 at 7:07 AM

    Nope, my clients do not care either. I have not had one single client ask that their lip color be in the black tube instead of silver.

    Here is something that occurred to me this week about the compact and color changes. If a clients was able to refill her compact a few times, then she probably got a fair deal. Why? If you went to the mall and purchased a compact of colors, you probably would have paid as much as for the same products and would not have been able to refill it at all.

  3. The last compact and product shape change happend in, what? 1997? That's 11 years ago. That's when we went from the square shapped eye colors to the semi-oval shape.

    ELEVEN years ago!

    I've had only one customer upset about this year's shape change.

    How do I handle the shape change? I phase it in. I continue to sell the previous shape at full retail price. I let my customers know they shape has changed and how much of their colors I have left in stock. They decide if they want to stock up, or go ahead and switch over to the new shapes.

    Some with color changes. Some lament the loss of a favorite color. Some LOVE a new color better then their old favorite.

    I think we all miss the old Whisper Pink eye color. Oh well.

    It's not the end of the world. It's just make up.

    I think I've only lost a total of two customers over any product changes. I only remember one specifically, but surely I must have lost more than one....


  4. The greatest majority of my customers are very excited for the new products. Many even ASK me, when am I going to get some new things? They WANT to see new stuff.

  5. darci consultantJuly 25, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    In general, I don't care about packaging changes. We usually have a TON of notice or they are so minor it doesn't matter. My clients don't care either. I still have some platinum tubes of lipstick, not many, but a few. Big deal.

    Okay, that said, there is one packaging change I don't like.

    For YEARS, since we went to the retractable lip and eye pencils, the tube has been frosted, so you could see when you were running out. This was a GREAT selling point with my customers. Guess what? The new black pencils? No frosted tube. I knew about that packaging change from InTouch or Applause, but I don't remember reading that the frosted tube would be gone. I didn't realize it on a couple until the old platinum ones were gone. But I am stocking up on platinum lip/eye pencils because my clients LOVE being able to see when they're running out (and I love it too!).

  6. Darci, the liners are retractable. All we have to do is twist it out to see how much is left, then twist it back in.

  7. darci consultantJuly 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    I know they're retractable, but I can't tell you how many of the retractable ones have broken on me once I twist them out and then twist them back in. Plus, it's not often that I think "oh, I should twist this all the way out to see how much I have left." But I could easily see how much was left with the frosted tubes.

    It's my preference, that's all. I understand why MK made the change and something had to give in order to make them all black. But since this is a discussion about packaging changes pro and con, I chimed in. And I specifically started with that overall, packaging changes were no big deal. This one, however, I'm not a fan of.

  8. speaking the real truthJuly 25, 2008 at 6:45 PM

    Dang it Darci, I hadn't even thought of that yet! I am one who usually runs out while putting my own "face" and has to run into my office and grab a new one. Glad I have inventory, because I do NOT want to wait :)

  9. EXACTLY STRT! And if it happens to us, then it happens to our clients.

    With the platinum retractable ones, I always pointed out to my clients that it is retractable, BUT you could also just see right through the frosted tube, so you'd never run out with one eye done! You be able to call me as you were getting low.

    Now I guess I'll just encourage my clients to have a spare in their bathroom of their favorites. That's not a bad thing either.

    Off to Seminar! I can't wait!


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