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LuLaRoe Just Changed Its Return Policy And People Are Pissed

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned by LuLaRoe."

Posted on September 15, 2017, at 2:56 p.m. ET

LuLaRoe is a clothing company known for its "buttery soft" leggings and cute, comfortable patterned separates. According to the company, more than 80,000 people are currently selling LuLaRoe via its multi-level marketing program.

@lularoe / Instagram / Via Instagram: @lularoe

It touts itself as "provid[ing] an opportunity for people to create freedom by selling comfortable, affordable, and stylish clothing," and founder DeAnne Stidham espouses a self-empowerment message that "if you want someone else to be successful, treat them as if they are, and they will become that person."

Anybody can sign up to sell LuLaRoe, and sellers — known as consultants — can reportedly make up to a 65% profit margin (though according to the Federal Trade Commission, around 99% of all people who take part in MLMs actually lose money).

@lularoe / Instagram / Via Instagram: @lularoe

LuLaRoe consultants purchase their goods both directly from the company and in trades with one another, and then sell directly to consumers. Think Tupperware parties, but for 2017. Each item of clothing wholesales for between $8.50 to $31, and new consultants are offered one of three packages to buy in. The cheapest package is $4,812, and the most expensive is $6,784.

In April, a policy was implemented stating that LuLaRoe consultants who were going out of business (or leaving the program) could return unsold merchandise to the company and receive a 100 percent refund at any time. Consultants were even covered for the cost of shipping and handling.

instagram.com / Via Instagram: @lularoe

Here's the policy that was sent to consultants in April:

Via Natasha Roberts

But on Wednesday, the company told consultants that it was changing its policy, and is now only offering a 90 percent refund on goods.

@lularoe / Instagram / Via Instagram: @lularoe

The new policy stipulates that only goods returned in their original packaging will be refunded, and sellers must cover all shipping and handling charges.

Courtesy LulaRoe

Further — and a sticking point for many sellers — the policy says that only product purchased directly from LuLaRoe will be eligible for return (which excludes the many products that are sold and traded AMONG sellers). Additionally, the company will now only honor returns on product purchased within the last year.

Courtesy LulaRoe

Seasonal items or items that have been discontinued are no longer allowed to be returned for a refund.

Courtesy LulaRoe

And the shipping and handling charges for LuLaRoe orders can be huge. Natasha Roberts, of Knoxville, Tennessee, sold LuLaRoe for a year before deciding to pull up stakes in August. She's worried about the cost of returning her purchased merchandise. "I have nine boxes that are over 300 lbs! Then I would only get 90% of wholesale and nothing on the limited edition items," she told BuzzFeed. "I have dozens of Valentine’s Day leggings and some items from last Christmas."

Roberts says she began the process of "GOOB" — shorthand for "going out of business" — several weeks ago and is concerned that the company will not honor their previous refund policy. "When I submitted my forms, they said items did not have to be in original packaging, and we could send everything back we had. I spent so many hours and hours for a week counting, sorting, packing, labeling, boxing, labeling, counting, counting, counting my inventory," she said. "Some things are individually bagged. Other things are wrapped by style and size. The items are labeled. The boxes are labeled. I have a spreadsheet with a detailed list of every box, its contents, and the total wholesale cost. I took a lot of time and care packing that inventory. If I were to send my inventory back now, I’d have to redo it all. Start completely over."
Natasha Roberts

Roberts says she began the process of "GOOB" — shorthand for "going out of business" — several weeks ago and is concerned that the company will not honor their previous refund policy.

"When I submitted my forms, they said items did not have to be in original packaging, and we could send everything back we had. I spent so many hours and hours for a week counting, sorting, packing, labeling, boxing, labeling, counting, counting, counting my inventory," she said. "Some things are individually bagged. Other things are wrapped by style and size. The items are labeled. The boxes are labeled. I have a spreadsheet with a detailed list of every box, its contents, and the total wholesale cost. I took a lot of time and care packing that inventory. If I were to send my inventory back now, I’d have to redo it all. Start completely over."

Many LuLaRoe consultants took to Twitter to address the company's policy change.

Shame on you #LuLaRoe! Swindling women out of money overnight? Better grandfather in those who submitted already. Not a good look for you

And, similar to Roberts, many pushed for the company to honor its prior policy for any GOOB consultants.

Seriously @LuLaRoe...did a whole lot of people dirty this time. You need to honor the GOOBs from prior to 9/13/17.… https://t.co/EcRshXI6CG

Several consultants expressed a sense of betrayal over the shift.

My heart hurts for those who trusted lularoe only to get screwed by a sudden and unfair policy change. #suelaroe https://t.co/u5FyfEiabn…

A spokesperson for LuLaRoe said that the company's new policy was actually just a return to its pre-April policy. "LuLaRoe provides a fair and generous path to Independent Fashion Retailers who want to exit the business," said the spokesperson in a statement. "We are simply reiterating a long-term written policy that each Retailer agrees to when he or she signs up."

@lularoe / Instagram / Via instagram.com

In the meantime:

@heartandsoulneb / Twitter / Via Twitter: @heartandsoulneb

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