I get asked this question a lot from girls in the queue, girls considering becoming a consultant, and consultants. I might just link them to this.
It was a little more than a year ago that I discovered lularoe. At first I was like, no way am I paying $35 for a tee shirt. Then I started paying $35 for tee shirts, and even more money for skirts and dresses. When I realized the income potential, my always financially struggling self looked into becoming a consultant. I literally was this meme:
So, a little about me. I don’t like having “what ifs.” I would rather make an ass of myself or fail miserably or simply find out it wasn’t for me, than not do it. Did the $5000+ investment make me nervous? Of course it did. Did I read the pros and cons? Yes, I like to think I did my due diligence. Really, I knew I loved clothes, people always complimented me on my wardrobe, and I needed money. So I signed up, charged most of the investment to a credit card and took money out of my savings to cover the rest, and hoped I would be a success story.
Things started off pretty well, too. When I was on summer vacation, I had the time and energy to focus on my business. I felt a little overwhelmed by the frequent changes, and a little guilty charging my friends $35 for a tee shirt, but I had some extra money rolling in! Oh, and did I have big plans or what? I wanted to build a team, and go out in the community to sell my inventory.
What ended up happening is I went back to work in August, because I am a public school employee, and my business fell by the wayside. My sponsor and I talked about dedicating just 1 hour a day to lularoe. I felt like a failure, to be honest, because I heard a lot of women were capable of handling a full time job, 3 kids, and lularoe. I saw girls on my team quitting their jobs to go full time. That was never my plan, because I need health insurance and qualify for public service loan forgiveness, but I wondered what I was doing wrong. Like, an hour a day shouldn’t be too much.
Now idgaf and I can admit it was too much. Because behind the scenes, a lularoe consultant is dealing with a lot of shit. I have a job where something is asked of me all day, everyday. I provide emotional and academic support for middle schoolers. It’s draining. And then I’d come home to messages like…
My maxi has a hole in it. Find me a replacement since I can’t return it.
My leggings have a stain on them. Can I exchange them?
This irma is way too big I didn’t know I had to size down can I exchange it?
Hey I haven’t talked to you in 15 years but do you have these leggings?
Can you find these leggings for me?
There’s a hole in my leggings.
I’m having financial difficulties because of an illness i may or may not have can you give me a discount? I’m a stranger but if you say no you look heartless.
And they would come in all day and all night. I had to turn the sound off on my phone. I, for real, had a chick complain to me for months about a hole in her skirt and finding her a very hard to find replacement! When I got home from work, this was not my idea of relaxing.
I agreed that, for the price, there should not be ANY holes. I was kind of embarrassed and hated having to apologize for things that weren’t my fault. I also feel that, if you’re paying $65 for a dress, the patterns should line up at the seam. I have shirts from Old Navy where the patterns line up, and it makes me cringe when I see Amelias with wonky stripes. On top of that, I couldn’t keep up with the daily changes to rules and procedures, or with the holiday capsule releases, because I was at work when they were announced and would miss everything.
Somewhere around November, I just stopped ordering inventory. I stopped interacting in my group. By Christmas, I knew I wasn’t into it anymore. I contacted my sponsor about what to do to get out, and she didn’t really know. No one was really able to tell me until March. I was also told that it would be no problem to sell my inventory to other consultants at wholesale to get rid of it.
That was a complete lie.
Right around when I was trying to liquidate my inventory the appropriate way, lularoe changed over to the new Bless. That made it difficult for consultants to buy inventory from others because there was no way to add it in this new system. So no one would buy it from me. I had $1500 worth of inventory just hanging there, and a credit card bill waiting to be paid. What I wanted to be done with in January is still dragging out in April.
It wasn’t until I tried to sell the used lula that I don’t wear on the buy/sell/trade groups that I realized… I can probably liquidate my inventory here. It’s not the right way, but at this point it was the only way. My only other option was to send it back to lularoe, which they say you can do for a 10% restocking fee.
That’s a lie.
Actually, you lose 10% of what you return if you send it back packaged the way you received it. I threw all my little bags away, so I would be losing 25%. Hell no.
I sold about 3/4 of what I had left just by posting it to a buy/sell/trade group at a good price. I’m trying to sell the rest today, but I guess the prints I have left are ugly and no one will buy them from me, even at wholesale. But I’d like to point out that in about 4 hours, I sold more than I tried to sell in 4 months. I want these clothes out of my house! I want my credit card paid! I want to move on with my life!
I also learned that on yesterday’s conference call, Mark, the co-whatever of lularoe, called the leaving consultants and customers “pigs” and said that “it’s not the inventory that’s stale, YOU’RE stale.” Um… excuse me? I think that for the prices these clothes go for, they should be cute enough to sell and also not get holes in them. I also think that for such a young business, they should be taking the lawsuits against them seriously, as well as the mass exodus of consultants seriously. And I guess I should count myself as included in the stale pig category since I’m leaving.
At the end of this year-long journey, I didn’t make a profit. I think I may have broken even. I fell victim to the “comparison being the thief of happiness” trap. I learned that I am simply not a joiner. I learned that the business world and direct marketing world is not for me.
But listen to this: I’m still buying the clothes. I know! Can you believe that!? I bought a classic and a Bianka today. However, I’m never paying full price again. There are so many going out of business sales, and discount groups, that I’ll never pay $35 plus shipping for a tee shirt again. Well, maybe from my best friend who is doing this full time and seems to be successful. I’ll buy from her to be supportive, you know. Edit: I discovered Agnes & Dora yesterday and I am quitting lularoe once this shit it out of my house.
So, if you’re considering becoming a lularoe consultant and you stumbled upon this, I’m sorry if I freaked you out. If you think you can be great at this by all means, try it. If you’re business savvy, go for it. If you’d be the only consultant in your area, go for it. I don’t want to be the sole reason someone holds back. If your gut is on the fence, though, you might want to examine that feeling further. Talk to consultants you know and ask questions. If you feel pressure, run away! I don’t regret trying it, and now I won’t have that “what if” banging around my brain for the rest of me life. Just don’t do this on an impulse.