10 Women Who Have Lost Thousands Of Dollars In LuLaRoe Explain What It Has Done To Their Families
"It's been a horrible experience. I just want it to be done. I want to pay off my loan and credit card and be done. I unfortunately don't see an end in sight any time soon."
ICYMI, the multi-level-marketing clothing company LuLaRoe is facing two class-action lawsuits from former sellers, who liken it to a "pyramid scheme."
Since BuzzFeed News reported on the lawsuits last week, dozens of people have contacted us about LuLaRoe, and the majority of them had negative experiences.
Many former and current LuLaRoee sellers told BuzzFeed News the trouble started whenLuLaRoe switched their return policy in the fall.
After promising all sellers in April that they could return unsold products for a 100% refund, including shipping fees, the company in September reverted back to their old policy, which states they would only refund 90%.
They also said they would not cover shipping fees, and would only accept clothing "in resalable condition" that was bought in the past year.
Many women told us their stories about dealing with LuLaRoe.
A spokesperson from LuLaRoe told BuzzFeed News, "LuLaRoe reviewed these claims. They are inaccurate and misleading."
Jamie Craig, 30, from Michigan: "I invested $15,000. I never profited."
Katie Denney Martin, 31, from Aurora Colorado: "I would say I put in around $11,000. I probably only made about $4,000."
Megan Sebastian, 31: "When it's good, it's good; when it's bad, it's hell. They are worried about money and that's about it."
Kris Rowlands, 49, from Ohio. "The bottom line is that I'm out about $5,000 total, even if I do get my refund."
Hannah Mathison, 26, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota: "They suggested going into debt."
Sheila Reed, 50: "I truly spent every single penny we had in order to start up with LuLaRoe."
Kristina Carter, 25, from Windsor, New York: "I have lost at least $15,000 on my business. Everything I made went back into that business."
Rebekah Olive, 31, from Raleigh, North Carolina: "I consider it all a loss. I didn’t come out of it with money and I’m still paying off my loan."
Julie Ryan, 31, from University Place, Washington: "I estimate that in the end I will only have lost $6,000 which, sadly, makes me one of the lucky ones."
Ryan is married with no children, and started LuLaRoe in November 2016.
"At the time, the stuff was selling like crazy," she said. "Originally it was going to be an extra income gig as I worked full-time, but I lost my job just days before my kickoff party."
She invested $6,000 at first, plus about $1,000 in miscellaneous start up costs. After that, she said she spent anywhere from $400 to $2,000 a month in new inventory from December to about May.
One of the things that led her to start her business, she said, was LuLaRoe's return policy.
"They always said they would refund 90% of your investment if you decided to quit," she said. "When they changed it to 100%, they assured us that it was a policy change that was here to stay. They encouraged us to buy more inventory and we did, believing that we would be able to return merchandise we couldn't sell if we were to quit the business."
She said it is hard to say how much total she made in profit, because she was unable to sell much of her inventory for full price.
"At first, marking down to $30 for tops would generate sales, but then people started wanting lower and lower prices," she said.
She said that she now doesn't even think she will bother trying to return her merchandise, as she has heard horror stories from others.
"Because of the ever changing return policy, the long processing time, and the lack of communication from the company, I will probably not return anything to them," she said. "I'd rather sell as much as I can at discounts, and then donate the remaining decent stuff and burn the garbage prints."
She said she estimates after selling her remaining merchandise she will have lost about $6,000, "which, sadly, makes me one of the lucky ones."
"My impression of LuLaRoe is extremely negative. I think that [founder] Deanne [Stidham] originally did found the company with good intentions, but the money coming in caused good intentions to melt away and greed to take over," she said.
LuLaRoe said it is looking into her claim, and BuzzFeed News will update when they reply.
Karla, 46, from Columbus, Ohio: "My experience with them was horrible and I suspect it's the same for the other consultants bailing."
In a statement in September, LuLaRoe said it feels its return policy is "generous."
"Lularoe is working quickly to process remaining refunds," it stated. "It is a complex and time-consuming process. Each piece returned is processed and inspected, and accounting must be confirmed. Lularoe communicates regularly with each departing retailer and will continue to identify communication enhancements to those canceling their business."