I consider myself an expert-level shopper. But Lularoe is a different kind of shopping, and it took me some time to figure out how to approach it. Unfortunately that approach has been a time-consuming and money-blowing obsession.
When I shop at regular big-box retailers, it’s manageable. I visit their website or store and browse through their inventory I might be interested in. When I’ve finished, I feel comfortable not visiting that store/website again for a while because I’ve seen it all (or nearly all of it).
Lularoe doesn’t work this way. There is theoretically new inventory every day. The “fear of missing out” concept is definitely one explanation for Lularoe’s success. I won’t get into the Lularoe “unicorns,” but the point is that you are trained to believe there are very few of the prints you like so if you see it, you better jump on it NOW.
In case you aren’t familiar with how Lularoe works and you haven’t yet googled it, I’ll try to provide a brief description. Lularoe clothing is sold by consultants only — you can’t go to a Lularoe website or store to peruse the inventory and purchase. You have to make a purchase from a Lularoe consultant. I follow consultants via Facebook, but I’ve heard consultants are maximizing all of the social media channels. Since I’m only familiar with the Facebook aspect, that’s all I’ll cover here. When you follow a consultant on Facebook, you’re able to make purchases a variety of ways. The two that seem most popular are “live sales” and “album sales.” Live sales are where the consultant is live-streaming to Facebook, either unboxing new inventory or just going through their existing inventory. Viewers of the live-stream are able to “claim” items as they come up by commenting during the live-stream, and the consultant will send invoices to everyone after the broadcast is complete. Album sales, which are my preferred shopping method, are where the consultant adds photos of all their inventory into Facebook albums, usually organized by style and size. Users can look through the albums of styles they’re most interested in, and then add a comment to the photos of items they want to purchase. The consultant will send an invoice either immediately or sometime in the next 24 hours.
Initially, I followed a handful of individual consultants. Unfortunately the “fear of missing out” on an awesome print got to me, so I started following multi-consultant sales. I’m also incredibly impatient: I want to see ALL the styles in existence NOW; I do not want to wait until the consultant has time to photograph all the new boxes of inventory she’s received. The multi-consultant sales are Facebook groups where multiple consultants post their inventories so users can view hundreds of items within a size/style category rather than only a small handful.
Depending on your approach to shopping, this is either really good or really bad.
I joined quite a few multi-consultant groups, all of which are open on different days and at different times. In the middle of my obsession, it was a little maddening trying to figure out which groups’ albums were “open” and which were opening in a few hours (or days). While it was maddening, it was also exhilarating. How many Amelia’s will they have in my size? Will there be new prints? Will there be anything I want? Has someone else already claimed it?
Because there are SO MANY prints and designs, it definitely becomes overwhelming. I started taking screen shots of the items I was most interested in, as well as a screen shot of the group so I could remember where the items were available. My iPhone kept warning me about low storage due to all the screen shots. I also tried to maximize on shipping costs by attempting to purchase multiple items from one consultant (rather than multiple items from multiple consultants) so that I could reach the free-shipping mark. This can be a bit time-consuming.
Once I’ve commented “sold” on the items I want, most of the consultants I’ve purchased from send a comment or email with a link to the invoice. I pay my invoices almost immediately, hoping that it will speed up the shipping process, which it usually does.
Approximately four days later, I’ve got my new goodies. Some consultants include sweet hand-written messages with your items, wishing you happiness each time you wear them. Others include small gifts, such as a handmade bracelet or a $5 coupon for your next purchase. One consultant sent me a free pair of leggings. All of this is, I’m sure, to spark some loyalty in me or at a minimum marginally encourage me to shop with this consultant again. I always intend to, but have only been a repeat customer with my local consultants. I’d love to know the percentage of customers who purchase from the same consultant multiple times, especially if that consultant is from out-of-state.
Either way, by the time I’m unpacking my recent delivery, I’m usually just killing time before my next multi-consultant group is opening, and then I’m back to stalking my next purchase.