LuLaRoe Lawsuits: Broken Promises and Pyramid Schemes

Lately multi-level marketing company LuLaRoe, purveyor of odd leggings, has been the proud recipient of two class action lawsuits.The first LuLaRoe class action suit was filed on October 13 in federal court in California, and the lead plaintiffs are Stella Lemberg, Jeni Laurence, Amandra Bluder, and Carissa Stuckart. The complaint has all kinds of words I like: scheme, bait, lure, and cheating…. words that could describe every MLM company.

The focus of this lawsuit is the promise LuLaRoe made in April 2017 regarding refunds on inventory returned by consultants. LuLaRoe said that consultants (who spend upwards of $5,000 to sign up and purchase an initial inventory package) could cancel their agreements and receive a 100% refund of the wholesale value of the inventory they purchased with no exceptions or conditions. Distributors would also get free shipping for the inventory they returned. The policy had no expiration date, but the lawsuit alleges that on September 13, 2017 the company changed the policy to offer a 90% refund (at most) with lots of conditions and exceptions, and no free shipping.

The refund policy was apparently instrumental in recruiting new consultants. LuLaRoe was presented to potential recruits as no risk, since they could easily get all of their money back if it didn’t work out. Inventory packages starting around $5,000 represent a big investment, so the ability to get a refund of 100% if it doesn’t work out was a great selling point.

The change in policy in September allegedly has many catches that are damaging to consultants:

  • Items returned must have been personally purchased by the consultant (so no returns of things you’ve traded or purchased from others)
  • Items must be in resalable condition
  • Items must have been purchased in the last year
  • Consultants must pay their own shipping costs, and won’t get reimbursed
  • Some consultants were not allowed to return ANY clothes
  • In order to receive reimbursement for the clothes returned, consultants have to agree to stop all sales of inventory
  • Some consultants never received return authorization numbers, so they couldn’t return their clothes
  • Some consultants report that LuLaRoe claims they never received the inventory that was sent back
  • Some inventory that is returned is “rejected” (but not returned to the consultants)
  • Only a partial refund is given for some inventory items

The plaintiffs in this class action suit are left holding thousands of dollars of inventory. $20,000 for Stella Lemberg, $12,000 for Jeni Laurence, $14,000 for Amandra Bluder, and $7,000 for Carissa Stuckart.

The second class action suit against LuLaRoe was filed on October 23, also in federal court in California. The lead plaintiffs are Aki Berry, Cheryl Hayton, and Tiffany Scheffer. This one is more fun because it alleges that LuLaRoe is a pyramid scheme. Like all mutli-level marketing companies, LuLaRoe encourages consultants to purchase more and more products, regardless of whether they are able to sell the inventory. The company uses the slogan “buy more sell more” to encourage continual purchasing of inventory, and consultants are advised to have $20,000 of inventory on hand.

The complaint refers to LuLaRoe as an endless chain scheme in which:

  • Commissions/bonuses are not dependent on actual sales to customers, just on how much consultants order from the company
  • Those who aren’t at the top of the pyramid are doomed to fail
  • The market quickly became saturated
  • Consultants are encouraged to continuously buy products even if they aren’t selling enough to justify those purchases
  • The company essentially pays for recruiting and doesn’t care whether the consultants are actually selling products

Like other MLMs, LuLaRoe is pay to play. In order to “qualify” for your bonus payment (commission on your downline), you are required to personally purchase a minimum number of pieces each month, AND your downline must purchase a minimum number of pieces each month. Pressure is put on new consultants to accumulate $20,000 in inventory (at wholesale value!) in order for the upline to qualify for their bonuses.

Also typical MLM manipulative tactics: the flaunting of wealth by the upline. People at the top of the pyramid post pictures of large checks, homes, cars, etc. And these tactics work, as evidenced by the amount of money put into LuLaRoe by approximately 80,000 consultants… who each purchased about $5,000 (or more) of inventory when they first signed up.

The heart of the pyramid scheme allegation against LuLaRoe is laid out beautifully in this paragraph from the lawsuit:

While retail sales did occur, Defendant’s illegal business model was not dependent on any actual sales. Defendants’ predominant and aggressive focus of attaining its revenue based solely on the purchase of inventory by consultants (rather than their sales) and by conditioning the bonuses paid to consultants on minimum inventory purchases (for both the consultant and their downline), the vast majority of consultants sitting at the bottom of Defendants’ pyramid were and remain destined for failure and unable to turn any profit. Some resulted in financial ruin due to the pressure to max out credit cards and to take loans to purchase inventory.

Grab your popcorn! This is going to be interesting

67 Comments

  1. Princess Lea

    Ouch! Well that was an expensive lesson! Seems crazy to me that in the Mary Kay world they tell you a full store is about $5,000 – I cannot comprehend how many leggings $20,000 would be.

  2. Rose

    I am anti LuLaRoe and I am anti-MLM, but we seriously have got to stop lying about this. All these “changes” to the policy in September were in the original contract that consultants signed when they onboarded. Are they unfair? Yes. Are they a crappy deal for the consultants? Yes. BUT, they were what the consultants happily agreed to when the started their LLR “business.” I am confused as to why the consultants thought they were fine then but now think they are super shady.

    Again, I am anti-LLR but I cannot wrap my head around the consultants’ logic here. Can a consultant PLEASE explain this to me? Also, can a consultant please explain why they are continuously lying about this? I see this all over the internet. Why are you lying so easily about what happened here? I think it’s weird and I also think it completely blows your credibility.

    1. BartheDoor

      For many consultants who returned inventory during the 100% buy back period, they’re still waiting for their refunds. Someone I know through Facebook is still waiting for a refund for flawed merchandise she was sent at the beginning of the year; now she’s also waiting for a refund that she returned when she shut down the business. She doesn’t care about the 100% or 90% part, she just wants her money back. She’s called and called and emailed and called again, and nothing. All she hears is that they’re working on it. So I think this suit is really a lot of consultants who have tried to make the company follow through on their end of the contract, and been ignored. Maybe LLR will listen and refund now that there are lawsuits. 😕

      1. Rose

        Does it say in the contract how long they have to issue refunds? I see a lot of consultants are mad it is taking 8 weeks, but was there something else in the contract? 30 days? 6 months? I mean, you can be mad but if you never had an agreement on it, then what the hell did you expect?

        LLR won’t listen to a damn thing because all the consultants agreed to settle their disputes with LLR via arbitration. LLR is not all that worried about these class actions, because they are pretty confident that the judge will dismiss the case and send each claim to arbitration. This is why I would never sign a contract like this with an arbitration clause. It just takes away your one chance of getting justice.

    2. TRACY

      Rose – “We” are not lying about this. I am simply reporting what is in the lawsuit. That being said, the contract says that the consultants must be bound by the policies and procedures, which can be amended by the company. The policy on refunds likely fell under the policies and procedures. So the company can make a change at any time, and the consultants are bound by the change.

          1. NoThanksMLM

            My understanding is that, in part, the issue is whether LLR violated its own PnP. The PnP say changes to policy won’t go into effect for 30 days and aren’t retroactive. So someone who signed on during the 100% buyback would always be covered by that. But LLR imposed the change immediately and not only made it retroactive, but more restrictive than the original terms. They’d also advertised it as no end date. LLR has said it doesn’t matter, as they never officially changed the PnP. But they’ve repeatedly referred to it as the buyback “policy,” so that complicates matters. California is fairly pro-consumer so the idea that they were being deceptive could get traction.

            1. TRACY

              I don’t think it will go over well to say “we didn’t officially change the policies and procedures, we just advertised a new policy (that induced people to sign up and spend upwards of $5,000 each).”

            2. Rose

              @nothanks But here is my issue with that logic. If the consultants are claiming that is takes 30 days for a policy to come into effect, then that means that the 100% policy was invalid. It MUST mean that. I HAS to mean that. The 100% policy went into effect immediately. That means it is invalid. Get it? You cannot have a rule and then apply to things only as you see fit. A rule is a rule.

              So then if that is the case, we are still with the original PnP in the contract. That PnP is the one that consultants are pissing and moaning about as being unfair, but that was the PnP they agreed to. BTW, the current PnP is not more restrictive than the original. That is just lies that consultants tell. I read the original PnP and the terms are exactly the same as the ones they have now. The problem is that consultants are for some reason incapable of reading the policies. They just listen to people online talk about them and so naturally they have no idea what the PnP actually states.

              1. MLM Radar

                No , Rosie, we don’t “get it.” There is no universal logical “must.”

                An existing consultant with an existing agreement may have a clause saying that changes require 30 days notice. But it also may say that the company has the right to change terms immediately at will. And if it says that, the whole 30 day notice thing goes out the window. Either way, if it’s in writing it’s what it is. That’s proper.

                But a new consultant, signing a new agreement, would be bound immediately by whatever new terms are in HER agreement. The agreements signed by older consultants are irrelevant.

                Have you seen the agreements yourself, or are you guessing about what they say?

                1. Rose

                  I saw them myself. So then the only consultants who are affected by this are those that onboarded between April and September?

                  Did those consultants not notice that there were terms in their contract that completely contradicted what they were told? You need to get that resolved before you sign a contract.

              2. TRACY

                LuLaRoe isn’t going to get out of this by saying that there wasn’t an official change to the policies and procedures. The put forth a policy and advertised it.

                The company issued this statement about the refund situation:

                1. JanRD

                  One disclaimer after another. How convenient that the rules become more strict at the level where more people are leaving. Guessing this is typical strategy for MLM’s.

                  “In order for LuLaRoe to continue to administer this benefit to Independent Fashion Retailers, we need to ensure that product returned to us as part of this policy is provided in resalable condition.”

                  1. What if it was received in unsalable condition?
                  2. Does a hideous pattern qualify as unsalable?

                2. Rose

                  They are going to “get out of it” by enforcing the arbitration clause. People are focused on the wrong thing here. The consultants agreed to take their cases with LLR to arbitration. In so doing, they gave up getting justice via a class action. Arbitration is expensive, and the costs are split 50/50 by the parties. Let me put it this way: an arbitrator, at the very cheapest, will run $200 an hour. LLR knows you are not going to pay that to get back a few thousand dollars.

                  This is why LLR does so many shitty things with such confidence. They are well aware that consultants agreed to give up their one path to fairness against LLR.

                  1. TRACY

                    Going to arbitration isn’t “getting out of it.” They can still be held accountable via arbitration.

                    Preferably, the arbitration clause could be disregarded by the court. That’s not an easy route, but it can happen. The lawyers who filed the lawsuits aren’t dummies. They take these cases on contingency, and it costs them a lot of time and money to litigate them. They don’t take these cases unless they think they have a decent chance of winning. It’s not as open and shut as you think it is.

                    1. Rose

                      Lawyers file these class actions all the time and do not get out of the arbitration, and those lawyers are not dummies either.

                      I never said it was open and shut. All I am stating here is the truth about the current state of the jurisprudence on this issue. Of course people can get out of arbitration clauses, but it is very hard to do. Think about it. You are sentient adult who is entitled to enter in to contracts. The courts are not going to babysit you and rewrite your contracts for you unless there was fraud or enforcement is unconscionable. Also, LLR consultants claim to be businesswomen who run their own business. If you are investing 20k in a business, then you most certainly should be sophisticated enough to enter in to a contract.

                      They can be held accountable via arbitration but they know that no one is going to pay the cost of both the arbitration and their lawyer to get back a few thousand dollars. Businesses go through arbitration and can easily pay $200,000 in legal and arbitration fees for two months, but in those cases MILLIONS are at stake, so it is worth it.

      1. NoThanksMLM

        I agree that you really should understand a contract fully before you sign. However, how many of the folks who signed the contracts thought they DID understand them? Folks who were approached by good friends, church members, etc., and asked these friends about the terms, and were assured that everything was fair and legit? Who were sold a load of #becauseoflularoe my life is great BS? How many of them have a CPA or know what a schedule C is? They are recruited by people they trust, are financially naive without necessarily realizing it, and find out the hard way that they’ve been taken. They don’t know what they don’t know. Being financially devastated and losing friends and family seems a high price to pay. Yes, they were naive, yes, they may be up a creek, but I for one am not so righteous that I would say they all deserve it. And I certainly won’t go out of my way to defend a company, LLR, MK, whatever, that encourages this predatory behavior.

        1. Rose

          I do not think they DESERVE getting screwed. I said that they are in no position to complain when they invest around $20,000 based upon a contract they did not understand. BTW, I have been talking about this arbitration clause for months and I can tell that most consultants STILL do not get it. They could look it up and see what it is, but they are still refusing to read their contract and understand the terms.

          Look, if you do not want to be bothered with that, that is fine. Many people do not want to deal with contracts and investing in “businesses”. If that is you, then just get a damn job already and stop signing things you do not understand. Also, do not listen to people who are going to benefit financially off you when you join and MLM. Have some self-respect and think all this through and do what is best for YOU, not people who are scamming you.

          1. TRACY

            You’re right, of course, that it’s a lot of money and people should be very careful about the contracts they enter into. But you know as well as I do how these MLM scams work. They prey on women and create an atmosphere which discourages questioning things, discourages critical thinking, and all around minimizes the seriousness of these decisions.

            I think we have a special situation here, in which women were lured in with a promise of ZERO risk. You don’t fully understand how the company’s promises about the 100% refund work in relation to the contract and the policies and procedures. Why do you think those signing up would be in a better position to understand? Should they NOT trust the company when the company says there is a new policy, effective immediately, not temporary?

            This is not nearly as simply as you make it out to be.

            1. Rose

              I understand this far better than you do. You do not understand the full story of what happened here. Very few consultants were lured into this nonsense with the 100% buyback. That was first announced in April of 2017, long after the vast majority had already onboarded, and those ones onboarded under the awful policies they rail against now.

              No one should trust a damn thing unless there is an official amendment to their CONTRACT. These women call this a business, well this is business: business is making damn sure your contract is amended officially whenever there is a change to it. DUH.

              Oh yeah, and if it takes 30 days for such policies to become effective, or else they are invalid, then that means the 100% buyback policy is invalid. See, it went into effect immediately. Thus, it is invalid (according to consultant logic).

              1. pinkvictim

                By all means, Rose, please continue to alienate yourself with your bloviations.

                You are the poster girl for the expression, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

                1. Rose

                  I don’t care about alienating myself. All I care about is getting to the truth. No one will tell me why the return to the old policy required thirty days notice but that they new 100% policy didn’t require any at all. How can that be? Please explain.

                  1. MLM Radar

                    OK, slow down for a second and I’ll try to lay it out for you. It has to do with taking unfair advantage of people in the eyes of the courts.

                    1. LLR drafted the contract, and put in the contract that they have control over making changes to the contract.

                    2. The consultants can’t change anything; they can only accept or reject the contract.

                    3. Since LLR maintains control over changes, LLR has a legal duty to not screw over the consultants by making no-notice changes that will harm the consultants. This is important.

                    4. If LLR makes a contract change against LLR’s own interest, that will help the consultants, LLR can put that change in effect immediately.

                    5. BUT, if LLR makes a contract change beneficial to LLR’s interests, which hurts the consultants, LLR has to give the consultants notice and an opportunity to reject the new change.

                    Do you get it now?

                    This is an oversimplified explanation, of course. If you want to get a better eplanation, you should go to your local community college and sign up for a Business Law course.

                    1. Rose

                      I get it 100%. So if you read a contract like that, why on earth would you agree to it and “invest” $20,000 in a business based upon those terms? That is INSANE. Of course the contract was bad for consultants. Of course. LLR’s lawyers drafted it to benefit LLR, not the consultants. Naturally it has crap terms for the consultants. So then why oh why would anyone with half a brain agree to that and give those people thousands of dollars? That does not make a single lick of sense.

                      Yes LLR has to give them notice, which they did not do with 100% buyback. Get it? So that must mean that the 100% buyback is invalid. Right? You seem to know a lot about contract law, so you totally understand this I am sure. LLR initiated the 100% buyback policy in April. They did not give the required 30 days notice for it to take effect. Thus, it is invalid under the terms of the contract. Do you disagree?

                      Okay, so if a change is invalid, then the original contract terms must stand, right? Okay, so then if the 100% buyback is not valid, that means the original policy is valid, and the original policy is the 90% with all the crap terms (no more than a year old, no capsules, original packaging, etc.).

                      Hence, the consultants are simply left with the return policy they originally happily agreed to. What’s the problem? They AGREED to that one. It was there, in writing, when they signed up.

                      Is it a horribly unfair and shitty policy? OF COURSE. LuLaRoe wrote it. Naturally it sucks. BUT, the consultants read it and agreed to it when they onboarded and continued to order from LLR. Silly, I know, but true nonetheless.

                    2. MLM Radar

                      Yes LLR has to give them notice, which they did not do with 100% buyback. Get it? So that must mean that the 100% buyback is invalid. Right?

                      Did you read past the my first sentence? Obviously not.

                      If you’re so good with reading contract fine print, you should have no trouble reading a post laid out for you 1-2-3.

                      I’m through with your self-righteous spewing. Bye.

                    3. Rose

                      I understood everything you wrote, which is why I responded as I did. Yes of course the contract terms were bad for consultants. Naturally LLR drafted them to be bad. Sure LLR has a legal obligation to follow the terms of the contract.

                      Are you not following my point here? LLR had a duty under the contract to give 30 days notice before changes go into effect. Back in April, then enacted the 100% buyback, which was different from the contract. This change went into effect immediately. Because LLR was supposed to give 30 days notice, it is invalid. Since it is invalid, the old policy that consultants agreed to when they onboarded is the one that is in effect. I am merely using your own reasoning here to reach this conclusion.

                      What on earth is self-righteous about pointing this out? I would actually love to hear a different take on this. All I am doing is applying the terms of the contract to the actual facts of what happened. If you think something different happened, or if you think the terms of the contract should be interpreted another way, I would really love to hear it. Seriously. I truly want to hear a different take because I have been bringing this up for months now and no one will present me with a different analysis. I just get told off with absolutely zero attention given to my argument.

                      You can tell me off but I think my point here is quite critical when it comes to the consultants’ fight with LLR. It is the consultants themselves who are adamant about this 30 days’ notice thing and so I think it is fair to point out that it could also work against them.

        2. Lazy Gardens

          Folks who were approached by good friends, church members, etc., and asked these friends about the terms, and were assured that everything was fair and legit? … (snip) … They are recruited by people they trust, are financially naive without necessarily realizing it, and find out the hard way that they’ve been taken. They don’t know what they don’t know.

          This is so common that it has its own name – Affinity fraud. These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist in groups of people who have something in common.

          https://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/affinity.htm

          *******************

      2. MLM Radar

        I agree that you should never sign a contract without reading it, but that’s not the way the world works. And that’s what the MLM scammers take advantage of; they know that most people who sign will do so because of their relationship with the recruiter.

        You may despise DISC, but they DISC model is right about one thing. The majority of people who can be quickly sold will buy because they like the seller, and not because they closely inspect the contract.

        1. Rose

          @ Radar, what you say is all true. That is why I am here to help people by pointing out that people in actual business do read contracts. This is why MLM is just playing store. Real businesses read and understand their contracts. They do. Women who are playing store don’t. It needs to be said. I hope that I can get through to just ONE woman who was screwed by LLR. I really do not want them to move on to another MLM. I want them to feel bad about their part in all this. I think it is extremely important. Coddling these people and telling them that they did nothing wrong is not helpful. They need to hear what they did wrong. The thing they did wrong was not read nor understand their contract, and as a result, they screwed themselves out of getting justice.

          If you are not sophisticated enough to read a contract, then please accept that about yourself and stop “investing” in “businesses” when you have no clue what you are doing.

          We all have free will. We should use it.

            1. TRACY

              That is pretty interesting, isn’t it? Why do you want people to feel bad for being taken advantage of? What does that accomplish? Sure, we can say they should have been more careful and should take responsibility for agreeing to the contract terms. But why is it necessary that they feel bad?

              Something has felt “off” about Rose’s comments from the start of this thread, and this made it clearer to me.

              1. Rose

                Because then they won’t do this again! You need to feel bad and stupid or else you will just get suckered into these scams again. Hello! How else will they learn? No amount of LOGIC or RATIONAL THINKING works, so we will have to hope that emotion will do the job.

                So there it is, please feel terrible about yourself and your ability to make good decisions. Hopefully then you won’t put your family in financial straits again.

                1. pinkvictim

                  Further victimizing the victims… While you are at it, go ahead and tell them that their skirts were too short while they were walking where they shouldn’t have been.

                  You are seriously deranged. Go away.

                  1. Rose

                    I am not deranged; I am the only reasonable person here. I do not want these women to be victims again. Since they are not capable of using logic or reasoning, wouldn’t it be good if they could at least associate a bad feeling with multi-level marketing?

                    What is your solution then? We know that no amount of using facts or logic sways them. Personally, I am at my wit’s end and can only see emotional manipulation is the way to get them out. After all, it is what got them in.

                    1. pinkvictim

                      Reasonable? You have already demonstrated that you haven’t the slightest notion of what that actually means.

                      “Since they are not capable of using logic or reasoning, wouldn’t it be good if they could at least associate a bad feeling with multi-level marketing?”

                      How Pavlovian of you, Rose. Is this the way you rear your children? Or just how you treat small animals?

                      You are vile. Again, go away.

                    2. NoThanksMLM

                      Rose, the declaration that you are the only one who is the voice of reason and the subsequent admission that emotional manipulation, no matter how cruel, echoes the tactics of the very people you think are enslaving the victims of MLM and other cults. Why are you at your wit’s end, Rose? You realize that being at the end of one’s wits is being one step away from the loss of rationality? There are many folks here that are angry and saddened about what is happening to their loved ones and the poor decisions they are making. You are the first one that I have seen who has suggested that mental and emotional assault is the way to deal with it. I cannot imagine the horror of approaching you for help, Rose. And if you are having difficulty persuading people to be rational and stay out of MLM, you may want to consider that you are not a safe haven for someone to talk to and make a plan with. Perhaps you should heal yourself first.

                2. MLM Radar

                  My dear Rose,

                  Your desire to make them feel bad definitely won’t help. Sorry. Long before the MLM victims get out, they face constant shaming and guilt-tripping for not having done enough to “succeed.” Most ALREADY feel “terrible about themselves and their ability to make good decisions.” A very good friend of mine was a prime example of this. Feeling BAD about her MLM experience only made her want to TRY HARDER to succeed at the next one! After all, she was told, “anyone can do this” “God wants this for you” “everyone else is succeeding” and more… and more…

                  The problem is that the MLM promoters jump on this one early, and turn it against them. MLM victims are trained from Day One to blame themselves for their “failure.” They didn’t “work their businesses” hard enough. They “were too negative.” They “didn’t trust God enough.” They’re “hurting the team.”

                  Yeah, my friend already felt TERRIBLE for “failing” one MLM… and another… and another… But she jumped into the next one even more readily because she was groomed to blame HERSELF for failing! It wasn’t until she finally opened up to me about blaming herself that I was able to show her she’d been manipulated. Even then, it took quite a while to help her start understanding.

                  IMHO, the only way out is to help MLM victims understand they were manipulated, and help them feel GOOD about making the RIGHT decision to get out.

                  1. Rose

                    No, I want them to feel bad about being a SUCKER, not failing in their business. I want them to feel bad about something else entirely from what you are talking about.

                    I would prefer to make them feel good about leaving, but since a huge amount of LLR saps feel good about leaving….to join Agnes and Dora!, I do not think that method works all that well.

                    Ideally we would educate children to have critically thinking skills from a young age, but since that either misses these women or they lose them at some point, I do not see what else is going to work.

                    But I know nothing is really going to work. You tell people you can make them rich, and their thinking shuts down. No amount of logic or facts seems to help. It is just a vicious and endless cycle.

                    1. NoThanksMLM

                      Constant abuse and emotional battery also make people shut down. Humiliating people into compliance is not only inhumane, it is also not a good long-term strategy. There are always people who are slow to learn and there are always those who will never learn. Resorting to humiliation and emotional battery makes you an abuser, not someone offering a reasonable path to a more rational life. One thing that does perplex me, Rose: why such rage? Are you angry toward one individual who’s been suckered into MLM? You’ve put yourself out here voluntarily, and I am genuinely interested in why you express so much rage and hatred, even at folks who also loathe MLM. Your secrets are yours to keep, but I can’t imagine living with so much anger, particularly coupled with the isolation of believing that one is the only rational person here.

                    2. enorth

                      Is Rose referring to something like “tough love”? That might work with some people. I guess you need different intervention tactics for different victims. Some need love, some need a rude awakening.

                      Maybe “Rose” is an angry husband.

                  2. Rose

                    I am not an angry husband. It is just hurtful to see so many friends get scammed. Obviously using reason does not work very well, and I see many LLR victims are just moving on to another MLM.

                    If anyone has any fresh ideas, I would love to hear them. I only feel this way because clearly nothing else has been effective, and I thought that something which has worked well for me – feeling badly about myself when I have screwed up – might work well for others.

                    These women desperately need to understand that lower middle class SAHMs will NEVER, EVER get a pitch to invest in an exciting business opportunity that is going to make them rich. It is always a scam to screw them out of their limited money.

                    1. Lazy Gardens

                      want them to feel bad about being a SUCKER,

                      So feeling bad about being lied to by skilled liars?

                      I am not an angry husband. It is just hurtful to see so many friends get scammed.

                      So you think passing your hurt along to them will help the situation? It might make you feel better, but it’s not going to make the person who was bamboozled, flim-flammed and flat out lied to feel any better about themselves.

                    2. Rose

                      @lazygardens: but they are NOT skilled liars. They aren’t. They are good at emotional manipulation, but their lies are incredibly transparent. For example, if anyone had bothered to read the contract, they would have seen how bad the terms were. That is what I am getting to by all this. You have got to be a big kid and do a little due diligence before you piss away $20,000. Ask yourself so hard questions, and engage that cynical part of your brain. I have posted on youtube videos where women are all pumped about onboarding and I warn and warn them. It always falls on deaf ears. Always. Every single last one of them says they do not believe me.

                      I watching three friends right now lose their savings and their relationships over this scam. It is horrifying, because they do not understand that they are not capable of “investing” in “businesses” if they cannot even read their contract or do the math. So I know they are just going to move on to another MLM scam. It’s a travesty.

                      I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, if they associated a bad feeling with the time they got pumped up to do the MLM, if maybe then that would break the cycle and stop the scam.

                      But I guess I am the jerk here or something. The one person who is actually thinking outside the box a little for some solutions. I mean, the best solution would be to make these illegal, but since I know so many of you insist on voting Republican, that is not going to happen. So since that won’t happen, what do we have left?

                    3. NoThanksMLM

                      Rose, your assertion that you “know” so many folks here “insist” on voting Republican, with zero evidence, makes a mockery of your claim to be the rational one here. What other assumptions are you making, with zero evidence, and based on a purely visceral reaction? You are reacting outside of the box, not thinking outside of it. You’ve spoken your piece to your friends. If you really want to be the rational grown-up in the room, give them a last word, set your limit, and if necessary, let them hit bottom. That is tough love. Emotional abuse is not. You are putting yourself out there as their savior. That is coddling. That is babying them. You are enslaving yourself to their behavior. I am facing this with friends and family. I’ve said my piece, offered help, and will be there when and if they come around. I will not, however, let their choices govern my own choices or become what seems like an obsession. How do you survive with so much anger, Rose?

                    4. Rose

                      I am not angry. I am simply very upset that there is so much financial abuse against women. I guess I should just ignore it? Not care? I do not know why you think this is a problem (massive fraud against women) that I should not feel emotional about. That is so weird to me and I am very disappointed that anyone thinks that I shouldn’t give a shit. If you want this abuse against women to continue, then please malign people like me who care. I find your stance to be incredibly sad at a time when so many women are declaring bankruptcy because of LuLaRoe.

                      I know the women I know who are get screwed by this are GOP voters. I am merely pointing out that they vote for the people who make the laws which protect the abusers in this case (MLM companies). So yes, I have evidence. My reaction is logical, rational, and evidence-based; not visceral.

                      They DO hit bottom, but then they always rebound and do yet another MLM. You do not need to attack me so severely for asking questions and making suggestions that might at least work a little. There is no emotional abuse here. All I said is that the women let it truly sink in that they are not capable of making these decisions without getting scammed. It is TRUE. Pointing out the TRUTH is not “emotional abuse” – it is just the freaking truth.

                    5. pinkvictim

                      “You have got to be a big kid and do a little due diligence…”

                      IOW, “Put on your big girl panties.”

                      “The one person who is actually thinking outside the box a little for some solutions.”

                      Of course, you are of the elite cadre who knows better than anyone else and will save the victims from themselves – after all, it’s their own fault because “they are not capable of using logic or reasoning.”

                      “But I guess I am the jerk here or something.”

                      Yep.

                    6. NoThanksMLM

                      Rose, you are the one who has suggested repeatedly that emotionally manipulating the victims of MLM cults and making them feel bad is your recommended strategy. If you are strong enough, go back through everything you’ve written, outline it, pretend someone else said it, and compare it with known techniques to assist members of cults and addicts. I encourage you to reflect on your accusations that the folks on Pink Truth are coddling victims, when you are describing yourself as the only savior available. Rational people and people with healthy psyches do not regard themselves as the sole guardians of truth and salvation. It is interesting that you are coming to a site that makes no excuses for MLMs of any stripe and whose participants would love to bring down MLMs, and accuse everyone of being complicit, weak, and irrational.

                      The truth in itself is not abuse. How you present it and the methods you use can be. I don’t understand how you can excoriate victims of these scams and recommend emotional battery and in the same breath say you are not cruel. Your strategy obviously isn’t working or you wouldn’t be here flailing and seething because you can’t fix something you ultimately have no control over. I don’t understand your current mindset.

                      And Rose, I’m glad I don’t understand it. Dressing up cruelty and emotional manipulation in the guise of correction and doing what’s best for someone sounds awfully familiar.

                    7. Rose

                      Getting to the heart and the truth of a matter is not mind control. The truth is that these women are incapable of distinguishing a scam from a legitimate opportunity. We can tell them that there is no way they could have ever known the difference, OR we can tell them that there were loads of warnings signs, and that they ought to take a good, long, hard look at themselves for ignoring them.

                      Like all of you, I do not know how to control another person’s mind. I am merely stating that a hard dose of reality is more often than not just what a “victim” needs to be awoken from their very detrimental fantasy cycle. Not exposing their part in all this only keeps them in the fantasy cycle, which in turn keeps them a constant sucker for MLMs.

                      Face reality and end the cycle. It will be painful at first, but it will ULTIMATELY lead to better outcomes.

                    8. Lazy Gardens

                      since I know so many of you insist on voting Republican

                      Tracy, wisely, shuts down most political and religious discussions … but FYI, I’m an atheist tree-hugging liberal in favor of single-payer health care, gun control, public schools, free college, and taxing the rich. And walks on the beach with my cat.

                      We can tell them that there is no way they could have ever known the difference, OR we can tell them that there were loads of warnings signs, and that they ought to take a good, long, hard look at themselves for ignoring them.

                      You should take a good, long hard look at yourself. Even Jesus said, “go thou and sin no more” instead of “you stupid idiot, didn’t you see the seven deadly sins in that plan?”

                    9. TRACY

                      Rose – How would it help to make those who got scammed feel bad? I’m legitimately asking. What will be effective about that? How is it going to stop MLMs from perpetrating their frauds? Feeling bad stops a lot of people from getting involved with MLM again. But shaming them doesn’t do anything to stop others from getting involved, does it? But I’m all ears for what your ideas are. (Enough with the political talk. We don’t allow that here, and this is your only warning.)

                    10. Rose

                      Tracy, you must have felt shitty about getting scammed, which is why you made this blog. And thank God for it. I am sure it has saved hundreds.

                      I am not making political talk – perhaps my point was unclear. My point is that because women are not completely knowledgeable about how all this works, that they behave in a way against their own interest. But I will drop it if you consider it political talk.

                      I hope that those who feel crappy warn others (as you have done). I think that coddling people and telling them that none of this was their doing just perpetuates all this. This is just my opinion. That is all. I base this upon my own experiences, whereby I have felt bad for not doing my due diligence or for believing a bunch of bullshit. As a result, I have an excellent bullshit detector. I just want these scams to stop and for women to be free from this nonsense.

                    11. TRACY

                      Rose, I didn’t “feel shitty about getting scammed.” That’s an incorrect characterization of my experience in Mary Kay.

                      Yes, when you reference “GOP voters,” you are making political talk. There was no need for that reference to make a point about women not being knowledgeable.

                      We are not here telling women that “none of this was their doing.” I just don’t necessarily think that shaming them and purposely making them feel worse than they already do is going to help the situation. I’ve invited you to tell us exactly how this would help and what your idea is for turning that shame into something that stops people from getting involved with MLM. You haven’t responded.

  3. NoMoMK

    So not surprising!!! LuLaRoe is crap! I was always surprised that women fell for it cause their stuff is mostly ugly but I never purchased since it was poor quality and probably made by slave labor for a penny and then sold for ridiculous prices. I really like hand made clothing by individuals and not stuff like forever21 or H&M (and I hate Victoria’s Secret too since they are one of the worst offenders) and I’m sure LuLaRoe is just as bad if not worse! May all the MLM’s just vanish!!!!

  4. TransportGal

    Lularoe GOOB sales are getting intense! I have never purchased LLR clothing before and I bought 8 items at under wholesale just to see what the hype is. I have fibromyalgia and I have been on the hunt for comfy clothes anyway.

    My neighbor is into some kind of MLM because she is ALWAYS inviting me to parties and she gets huge UPS boxes delivered to her house several times a week. She actually invited me to a LLR party shortly after Sarge (my husband) and I moved into the neighborhood last year. I’m glad that I passed because I picked up the stuff now for a fraction of retail!

    The thing that gets me is the number of military wives who get sucked into these schemes. Sarge is in the Air Force and a lot of his troops wives are selling MLM stuff. Most are living paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to lose money on an MLM scheme.

  5. Lazy Gardens

    The problem is that LLR management started the 100% refund policy for “GOOB” (going out of business) without thinking it through how to do it fairly and protect themselves … and then shut off the policy without warning … leaving many resellers who had sent in refund requests before the policy was revoked in limbo.

    Then they waffled and made it more restrictive: first it was “everyone who had requested the GOOB info”, then it was “everyone who had already submitted the online paperwork”, and then it was “everyone who has had labels sent to them already”.

    The consultants who have been screwed by the policy changes are rightfully angry.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      “then it was “everyone who has had labels sent to them already”. ”

      And now they are stalling on two fronts … those who had the labels when the policy changed and sent back inventory have yet to get refund checks, and those who would like to take advantage of the revised refund policy are being told “we’re not taking any resignations now, maybe in a few months”.

      This looks like a company that is in a serious cash flow crunch and it either squirreling away money where they hope bankruptcy can’t touch it, or they don’t have any money to squirrel with.

  6. Lazy Gardens

    There are still customers and consultants waiting for refunds from the sales tax mess that LuLaRoe’s incompetent software developers and greedily incompetent management created.

    The problem of charging sales tax based on the buyer’s location was solved more than a decade ago. BUT you have to subscribe to one of the databases, or buy the software that can make it happen. And they appear to have decided it was too expensive to do the right way.

    They chose not to, and did origin-based tax collection for their resellers, even for customers whose sales tax should have been zero. And it’s unknown whether LLR paid the tax they collected to the correct tax collecting authorities or if they kept it and spent it.

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