How Predatory Companies like LuLaRoe Destroy Friendships

How Predatory Companies like LuLaRoe Destroy Friendships July 31, 2018
Photo Credit Yahoo Images

 

My first introduction to LuLaRoe came in winter 2016 from a blogger friend that had a side hustle of shilling LuLaRoe. She wanted to sell me some leggings. However, the clothing manufactured by LuLaRoe was not my taste. By fall 2016, I had at least 10 Facebook “Friends” selling the Buttery Soft Legging made by LuLaRoe. At one point, I had been added to 25 different Facebook Groups selling LuLaRoe.  Early on I could tell this company was going to hurt the women they claimed to support.

Many of my friends started to wear the leggings, skirts, and shirts sold by LuLaRoe. I reluctantly attended a party as a way to get away from my son for a few hours. Despite my reservations, I purchased a pair of leggings and a skirt. My friend told me the total of the two items. I remember it being close to $70 for the two pieces. I wanted to cancel the purchase. However, I felt obligated to pay for the clothes despite the enormous price tag.

The leggings and the skirt sat in my closet for months. I wore the skirt a handful of times. The material of the skirt was too warm for summer and too cold for winter. After paying $48 for a skirt, I ended up donating it to the Goodwill the following year.

The leggings I purchased at the party seemed cute at the time. However, I blame the purchase on a buzz I had from 2 cocktails I drank at the party. The leggings seemed more appropriate for a 5-year-old girl not a woman in her late 30s, so I tossed them in the trash.

Later in the fall, I got invited to another party. I wanted to fix my wrong, and find a pair of legging that I could wear. Thankfully the rep had a pair that was playful but appropriate for my age. The next day, I was excited to wear them on an outing with my son. I put the leggings on just before we left. By the time I returned home 4 hours later, the leggings had two holes in them.

When I messaged the representative that sold me the leggings, she let me know the leggings can rip due to how they are distressed. However, when I purchased them, she never told me they might tear. She let me know she could exchange them for me. I gave her the ripped leggings, and I never heard from her again.

I paid $25 for a pair of leggings, never got my money back, and I lost a friend.

Sweet!

By this point I was tired of the LuLaRoe madness in my Facebook feed, I posted a link critical of the brand. During this time thousands of customers experienced the same issue I had with the leggings. The leggings were ripping in the legs. Women shared pictures in Facebook groups of the butt ripping out of their leggings after one wear. I wanted to alert my friends to be cautious of the clothing.

LuLaRoe sells their brand as “Empowering” for women. Consultants are told they are “Small Business Owners” or “Entrepreneurs.” Because I’m a small business owner, I pointed out that in real small business you control the entire process from start to end.

I tried to explain that joining a company like LLR is no different than every other MLM scam out there. They set pricing, product, and demand reps make monthly purchases to be eligible for commission. Real small business owners can pick their products. They can choose the price of the products they sell. A small business owner can replenish their inventory as they see fit.

When I pointed out to numerous friends they could be involved in a fraudulent Pyramid Scam, they called me anti-women and anti-empowerment. My friends spoke the “corporate speak” from LLR. All their words seemed contrived, crafted, and manufactured by the executives of LLR. Honestly, I told my husband, “My friends are brainwashed.”

After that post, I lost at least 10 Facebook friends and a few friends from my real life. LLR had somehow become a cult. My advocacy against them led to real life shunning.

Fast forward to 2018; my Facebook page isn’t full of LLR leggings.  No one has added me to any groups to hawk ugly, poor quality, and expensive clothing. The fad seems to be coming to an end.

After writing about the destructiveness of MLM companies earlier this week, I wondered why we don’t hear much from LLR anymore. Well, it turns out it’s because there is a massive class-action lawsuit by both representatives and customers. The Class-Action lawsuit is for a staggering one billion dollars.

When I searched for LLR groups on Facebook, I noticed more groups pop up for Going out of Business than actual sales. It seems there has been a mass exodus of representatives leaving the company. There is a Facebook Group LuLaRoe Defective with more than 55,000 members.

LLR may have started out as a way to empower women, but today it seems more women are unhappy with the business than satisfied. In 2016, I saw the scam they were running. It was hard to ignore my friends losing money. Additionally, my heart broke watching friendships dissolve over defective clothes.

To save others from the heartache I witnessed, I spoke out against them. In turn, I lost friendships that I thought would last a lifetime.

The real impact of predatory companies like LuLaRoe is far more than a financial burden. When relationships and friendships crumble, they have become more than a financial burden to our society. They have become a bacteria or parasite that is ruining our lives.

Nothing is empowering about losing friends, screwing friends over, or losing thousands of dollars.

Stay away from this company and their horrible leggings.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • marsbar

    Topic is great, but there are so many typos and abrupt sentences within the first couple of paragraphs that I gave up reading. I would strongly suggest editing for clarity.

  • I did edit! Can you retry?

  • marsbar

    I did! They’re still there :/ I’m not saying it to be mean, because I really want you to get this super important point across!

    For example, “wearing paying a $48 skirt”

  • fixed. Anything else. The ones in the front are fixed. the cache takes time to update the fixes

  • TheBookOfDavid

    After I that post, I lost at least 10 Facebook friends…

    This sentence seems to have an extra “I”. I skimmed your OP, and may have missed other errors.

  • I’ve made so many corrections and it’s not caching – it’s making me nuts!

  • Edits are finally showing up! Sweet!

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Don’t panic. This is merely the goddess Tpyos levying your penance before you are forgiven. Now go forth, and sin no more.

  • LOL! Everything should be good for this piece. Some of the grammar isn’t technically correct – but this piece is more conversational vs editorial

  • FreeMelania

    According to the FTC, “there are two tell-tale signs that a product is simply being used to disguise a pyramid scheme: inventory loading and a lack of retail sales.” Lularoe exhibits both of these tell-tale signs.

    – 1. Front-loading or inventory loading is a large up-front purchase to join an MLM. The $5,000-$9,000 startup cost to become a Lularoe distributor is a clear demonstration of “front-loading” or “inventory-loading” as described by the FTC. Here’s a hint: if you’re dropping $5k on a bulk order of clothes, you’re the customer. Once those clothes are in your garage, Lularoe doesn’t care if you ever sell them. They’ve already made their money. They will, however, immediately begin pressuring additional purchases with their “buy more/sell more” slogan that is targeted at distributors.

    – 2. Second, at its height, Lularoe had around 160,000 distributors nationally which created market saturation and thus extreme difficultly for distributors to generate any retail sales. As a result, a vast majority of Lularoe’s revenues were and continue to be generated by the continual enrollment of distributors and NOT retail sales outside the pyramid. If you google the words, “join my Lularoe team” you will find clear evidence of this. There are hundreds of web pages in which distributors are attempting to enroll more distributors rather than just sell product. You can watch this recruiting chain playing out in real time.

    Worst of all is that Lularoe preys on low and middle income people with claims of “full time pay for part time work,” and “work on your own schedule” and “be your own boss”, etc. They also heavily push further purchases from distributors with internal marketing slogans like “buy more, sell more” and counseling distributors to take on debt to purchase more inventory. Again, if your garage is full of their product, you are the customer – make no mistake about that.

  • Great article, question remains when will we ever learn. Nobody ever seems to want to learn from the bitter experiences of others. A pyramid scheme by any other name is still a pyramid scheme. When will we ever learn? Still new suckers and suckerettes are being born every day.

  • correct!

  • valleycat1

    I once worked in an office with about 20 other women. At least half of them were selling something like this – makeup, jewelry, clothes, purses, home decor/kitchenware, etc. They all bought from each other. Although they never tried to guilt the rest of us into buying from them, it seemed to me that if they just kept their own money instead of buying from the others, none of them would have to be selling stuff to make ends meet.