Wednesday, February 22, 2017

LulaRoe Part 1: What is LulaRoe? Is it worth it?


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This is part 1 of a series of blogs I am writing on LulaRoe and the products they make. This blog is going to focus on LulaRoe in general. I will share with you a little information about what LulaRoe is, their products, sizes, care and how to shop LulaRoe. No I am not a LulaRoe consultant or a LulaRoe expert and I did not partner with any LulaRoe consultant for these blogs.  I just have several of their items and am going to share my opinion about the items I have in hopes of helping you decide whether or not to try that item.

What is LulaRoe?

LulaRoe is a clothing company founded by DeAnne Stidham in 2014. LulaRoe has everything from tops to dresses to skirts, but is most known for their buttery leggings. They even have kids and a few men's styles. The company's focus is to help consultants make an extra income by selling comfortable, stylish clothing that fits all body types. You can visit LulaRoe's website, lularoe.com, to find out more information about the company!

What is a LulaRoe Unicorn?

LulaRoe clothing is unique because they only produce about 2,500 items in a specific print so once it is gone, it may be gone forever. This is where the term "unicorn" comes into play. A unicorn is considered a highly sought after pattern. Some of the most common unicorns are black leggings and the leggings with animal faces on them such as wolves, bears, dogs and cats. I've seen a few cameras, pencils and soccer balls floating around out there as well.

Why should I buy LulaRoe?

When you buy LulaRoe you arn't sending your money to a corporate businessman to buy another boat or house but you are helping a mom/dad (yes there are some LulaBros out there) pay for school, their kids activities, a family vacation, bills, etc. All the products the consultant's have are there's because they bought them from LulaRoe themselves.

How to purchase LulaRoe?  

LulaRoe must be purchased from a LulaRoe consultant. Consultants have pop up boutiques in their homes, hostess' homes and around their county. Consultant also have live, album or "shop the roe" sales on their Facebook pages. To find a LulaRoe consultant all you have to do is type "LulaRoe" in your Facebook search bar and several consultants should pop up - ask to join their group, figure out when they post their inventory and happy shopping! If you find an item you like, comment "SOLD" on that item. If you have a question about that item comment "Sold pending question". If you change your mind comment, "PASS". If you really like the item but someone else has commented sold then comment "Sold Next". If they pass it goes to you or you might get lucky and the consultant might have two of them. Basically the first person to comment sold gets the item. Every consultant has different rules and different programs for payment so make sure to read their rules at the top of their Facebook page.

Every consultant carries different items and has a different inventory. They get to choose what styles they want to carry but they do not get to chose the patterns so I recommend joining a couple consultants pages or hundreds in my case. You can also join multi-consultant sales where 10-60 consultants post their inventory in one place. Multi-consultant sales are fun because they have a larger variety to choose from and have several giveaways, I mean who doesn't love free clothes?!?! The only problem I have run into with some multi-consultant sales is they have way to much inventory so it can be very overwhelming when shopping but then some consultants don't have a lot of inventory making it hard to shop so you have to figure out what you like best when looking for consultants.

My Preference: I prefer consultants that have weekly album sales and giveaways. Live sales are to long for me, get confusing when claiming because of lagging and don't load half the time on my computer. I also like small multi-consultant sales with 10-20 consultants that have a max. of 2,000 leggings in OS combined. Trust me I've been in sales with 7 OS legging albums and it was too much.

What does it cost?

Clothing cost?
Every LulaRoe item is priced differently. The cheapest LulaRoe items are the kids and tween leggings priced at $23 followed by adult leggings at $25. The most expensive LulaRoe item is the Sarah Cardigan priced at $70. The average LulaRoe price is around $35 which is the price of the majority of the tops and a couple skirts; dresses, most of the skirts, cardigans and work out leggings all cost more. The cost DOES NOT include to cost of tax and shipping which vary based on the consultant and the consultants state. On average you are going to pay $30 for a pair of leggings if you buy online or $27 if you buy at a LulaRoe pop-up party. Consultants hold giveaways that range from a free item to free shipping or LulaCash so if you plan on purchasing any LulaRoe items, enter those contest!

My Preference: A lot of people say that LulaRoe is so affordable but I am a bargain shopper and I personally think some of the items are priced way to high especially when you can't try them on half the time; you aren't sure if it will fit, it may be thin and tear easy or you won't be able to return it and get a full refund.  Most of the dresses I find to be reasonable as that's the same price you will pay for a nice dress at JCPenny, Khols or Macy's but $70 for a Sarah Cardigan when I saw an identical one at Wal-Mart for $15? or $35 for a Randy when I have seen similar shirts at JCPenny for $15 or Rue21 for $5 before? I will admit that several of the LulaRoe items are very versatile which makes for a better selling point so I'm willing to pay a little more for items I can wear a variety of ways but I like being able to try on and see what I'm paying for so I'm not super into the whole online shopping for clothes.

Consultant cost?
As I said before I am not a consultant but to be a LulaRoe consultant, the start up cost is between $5,000 to $7,000 for 336 to 436 items of clothing. There are a couple different plans you can choose from. That price does not include all the extra things you will need to start your business such as an   extra room/closet to store the clothes, clothes racks, shelfs, storage containers, extra hangers; shipping bags, business cards and other marketing strategies, decorations for your boutique, a mannequin, a computer, a payment system/plan set up and a camera to take all the pictures of your new inventory. On top of the start up cost and all the extras you have to buy a certain number of items each month in order to get paid for the items you sold. Consultants of coarse get the clothing at wholesale prices which is a little less than half the actual cost of the items. Overall you are looking to spend a minimum of $10,000 just to get stared. I've seen some consultants go all in and set up a boutique or buy a mobile boutique which will cost more of coarse. I feel like the cost depends on how far you want to take and grow your business. If your business isn't doing so well, I've heard that you can sell your inventory to other consultants or that LulaRoe will buy them back from you at a portion of the price but I could be wrong.

My Preference: I'm not going to lie, I thought about becoming a consultant and it still has crossed my mind here and there but when you look at it as a whole, I'm not sure it's worth it. Everybody is always looking for the next big thing and right now it is LulaRoe in the clothing industry but in my opinion,  $5,000 is a really high start up cost, not to mention that doesn't include everything and to level up and get a consultant under you, you have to buy even more inventory per month thus costing you a lot more. On top of that, you don't get to choose the patterns or material of the products you order. It is all random and some of the patterns are not very pretty. Yes LulaRoe is always adding different patterns and making them match the seasons and holidays to try to stay current but I'm seeing several consultants get stuck with duplicates and patterns that nobody is buying. How can you make a profit if nobody wants your inventory? Yes the unicorns basically sell themselves hence why several consultants pair them up and force you to buy them as outfits thus making them more money but not all the inventory is flying off the racks. On top of that there are thousands of people becoming consultants and waiting to be consultants thus giving customers a wider range of consultants to shop from which means less customers shopping your shop and more competition. If you are a consultant or waiting to become one, I wish you the best of luck but if you are just thinking about it I recommend talking to other consultants, researching it and reading LulaRoe threads/comments on blogs before you make the final decision, is worth it?!?!

Sizes & Material?

LulaRoe seems to be geared more toward bigger body builds and taller women but LulaRoe carries a variety of sizes to fit all different body shapes. They carry kids, tween, adult and men's sizes. LulaRoe has a basic size chart ranging from XXS to 3XL but I would not follow it because every individual item also has it's own size chart. Some items run big so you need to size down, some run small and others are true to size but I will touch more on item sizing in my blogs containing that item so stay tuned! 

As far as material goes, LulaRoe leggings are all made from the same material, polyester and spandex. They are referred to as "butter" for their buttery softness by many people and yes, they are super soft! As far as the rest of the clothing goes, well, they all come in different kinds of fabrics from cotton to polyester to spandex, silk and lace mixtures causing every item to not only feel different but fit different. The different fabrics cause some items to be less stretchy than others so in that case you may need to go up a size. To top it off, LulaRoe's products are made all over the world. I have items made in USA, China, Vietnam, Mexico and Indonesia. This shouldn't, but does play a roll in sizing. It is rumored that USA and Mexico add a little extra fabric when making their products where as Vietnam is a little less generous and I hate to say it but it is true for the most part. Out of five Vietnam made leggings, three have been to tight and to short on me. When purchasing an item, I highly recommend asking the consultant where that specific item is made, if it runs true to size and what material is it made of to help give you a better understanding of how it might fit that way you don't end up wasting your money on an item that may or may not fit.

My Preference: The variety of sizes and material make it hard to shop because no two items fit exactly the same or are made the same way but I've run into that problem at regular stores as well. I have several LulaRoe items and I love several of the items I have, but I don't like that they are all made from different materials. Out of my three Randys that are all the same size, two are a nice thick material, super comfortable and the third is a super thin material and fits smaller. I do love that several of the LulaRoe styles are very versatile and that they are also made so most people can wear several different sizes to give off a different look. As I said before thou, if you are shopping online I highly recommend asking the consultant where that specific item is made, if it runs true to size and what material is it made of. To get a better idea of what material, styles and sizes you like/wear I would recommend going to a "pop-up" LulaRoe shop and trying on items. 

Caring for LulaRoe?

Since everything is made from different fabrics, the general LulaRoe care guidelines are to turn the item inside out, hand wash/gentle cycle with cold water and hang dry. They also recommend, especially the leggings, to wash by themselves the first time because they may bleed and to continue washing in a load that does not contain zippers and buttons due to the  chance of tearing your LulaRoe. As far as drying goes, it will most likely shrink you LulaRoe and cause fading but I'm not positive; the only thing I have purposely dried are TC leggings because I was trying to shrink them with no such luck.  Also make sure not to wash your LulaRoe last minute as hang drying takes time. It is also recommended to treat your leggings like panty hose when you are putting them on; gently slide them on and not jump into them like jeans or you may rip them. The bad part about the LulaRoe care instructions is that if your kids/husband decide to do a load of laundry to be nice, you may end up with damaged or shrunken LulaRoe.

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UPDATE: LulaRoe and Disney have agreed to a two year collaboration as of summer 2017. By my understanding they are releasing different characters over the two year span to keep people interested and they started by releasing a Mickey & Minnie Mouse line. The Disney Collection line of course cost more than the regular LulaRoe line and discounts are not allowed on the Disney Collection. I do not know all the rules as I am not a consultant but several of the items I have seen are super cute!

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LulaRoe has literally taken over social media, or at least my social media. It is quickly becoming more popular. When I first heard of LulaRoe back in the spring of 2016 the consultant map was very small with only one consultant popping up within a 30 mile radius of me. In the fall of 2016, I came across LulaRoe again and within weeks I noticed it becoming more popular. Several people I have talked to still have never heard of it but if you look at the consultant map now it looks kind of like a Verizon wireless commercial map compared to what it use to be and I know of at least five consultants in my area, thats not to mention all the ones in surrounding counties. I have heard that the wait to become a consultant is currently one to three months meaning that there are hundreds of people getting ready to become a consultant and that's not to mention all the newbies starting out which means LulaRoe is growing drastically and is going to be popping up more and more. LulaRoe is currently showing no sign of slowing down but I still can't help but wonder how long this is going to last? Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the LulaRoe groups in hopes of finding their unicorn, winning a contest and to check out the newest prints. I have noticed that some consultants have done amazing making $30,000 in three to six months but others are not doing so well and several have already closed down shop, quit carrying products due to lack of popularity or created "Sale Bins" for items that rant selling. The likelihood of you making $30,000 in that time frame is low but hopefully you can make back what you spent and start turning a profit after three to six months. As any business goes, it's all about how much you put into it and who you know. If you do become a consultant I would try to market your inventory by supplying your customers with clear pictures of the items allowing your customers to see what the patterns are on that item. Trust me I have seen some super dark pictures of LulaRoe items or the items just laying on the floor/over a couch and those consultants don't seem to be doing well as it's hard to make out what they have. I would also recommend having an "Outfit of the Day (OOTD)"  and hosting giveaways every once in a while or a large giveaway once a month to draw customers in. I've also seen "Deal or No Deal", mystery hostess, mystery bags, shop the box, buy one give one (donating second pair to charity/people in need), etc... there are several different marketing techniques out there you can use.

Once you try LulaRoe you will most likely become addicted. It could be the soft material, the versatility, the comfortability of dress clothes, the contest or the "mimetic desire" meaning you want it because someone else has it. I am literally starting to see people wearing LulaRoe everywhere. I've seen ladies at the library, church, teachers, etc... I've even been asked if I was wearing LulaRoe myself. It is defiantly becoming more popular. If you can afford it, I recommend giving it a try because some of the products really are nice but watch out for those few that aren't and the thinner materials. Also don't be afraid to ask questions, after all you are the on spending the money on it. I hope this blog helped give you a better understanding of what LulaRoe is and their products. If you are a consultant or waiting to be one, I wish you the best of luck!!!

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