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Discount Diva: LuLaRoe, yes or no?

Hey, LuLaRoe lovers. And haters.

I’d say hello to the people in between, but they don’t seem to exist.

Either you’re obsessed with the super-soft, quirkily patterned clothing or you consider it “overpriced junk.” (And yes, that’s a direct quote from more than one person I polled about the brand).

Some of you never had a chance to pick a side, because you were too spooked by LuLaRoe’s prices to ever give the clothing a shot.

Well, now’s your chance.

The clothing normally sells from $25 (for its super-popular leggings) to $70 (for its Sarah duster-length cardigans). But LuLaRoe consultants leaving the company are jettisoning their leftover inventory, flooding the market with deeply discounted clothing in every pattern imaginable. You’ll find prices slashed to 40, 50, even 70 percent off.

If, like me, you found yourself added to online LuLaRoe Facebook “parties” at the rate of about 8 zillion per month over the past year or so, you should have no problem finding yourself some discounted goodies.

But if you somehow managed to avoid getting pulled into that loop, just search Facebook for “LuLaRoe GOOB” (which stands for “going out of business”). If you’re not on Facebook, you can Google the same thing and you’ll get plenty of results.

The going rate for leggings seems to be about $9 to $15 but, in some cases, you can find them for much less. For the many of you who love LuLaRoe, this will let you stock your closet with three times what you’d normally be able to buy at retail.

It’s not pricey by department store standards, but a common complaint is that the clothing is far from department-store quality.

For every customer who says her LuLaRoe wears and washes well, there is another who says her seam ripped and left her bare-butted at the Broadway Market. Sizing is also notoriously inconsistent.

So, why are all these sellers getting out?

Well, as shoddy as some say the company’s clothing is, there are now lawsuits accusing the company of shady leadership and business practices as well.

The company works on an intense multi-level marketing model, like Tupperware sales on steroids, raking in about $1 billion in sales last year, according to reports. That non-selective growth has saturated the market, making it difficult for sellers to make a profit, they said.

Pending lawsuits against the company claim that LuLaRue is a pyramid scheme, that it adds a surcharge to purchases disguised as a sales tax, and accuses the company of misrepresenting the quality of its products. The company, in a statement, called the allegations in the most recent lawsuit "without merit."

LuLaRoe acknowledged in an email to sellers that it’s common for holes to form in its leggings. Its production head said its “special brushing technique,” weakens fibers and causes the holes, according to an internal email obtained by Business Insider in March. It has tried to fix the problem, but hasn’t been able to do so without taking away the leggings’ trademark buttery softness, the email said.

And even though the company has acknowledged that its clothing can rip or develop holes after just hours of wear, it has ended a full-price wholesale buyback program for sellers looking to get out of the business, saying the sellers abused it by “returning product in extremely poor condition.”

Like with holes and rips?

Many sellers who have gone out of business without GOOB sales, returning their inventory to the company for a 90 percent refund, have been waiting months for those refund checks to arrive. That has led other sellers to turn to GOOB sales themselves, making it difficult for sellers trying to make sales at full retail price.

Either way, the fact of the matter is that consumers can get their hands on LuLaRoe leggings for as little as $7.50 right now, sometimes even less.

According to its critics, that may be all they’re worth.

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