More than 70,000 women across the country have signed up the past few years to sell LuLaRoe leggings, those popular "buttery smooth" yoga pants sold by a network of consultants out of their homes.
Now some of them, stuck with unsold merchandise, want out. But one Loveland, Ohio woman says it's not as easy as it might seem.
Trudi Westendorf is among thousands of moms who dreamed of making money selling colorful LuLaRoe leggings. Now, she just dreams of getting her money back.
"I really did it to just give a little extra money to my family, but it started to take time away from my family," she said. "So I just decided to send my things back and be done."
Shipped items back for refund
LuLaRoe requires consultants to purchase $5,000 worth of inventory to get started in the business, unlike some other multi-level marketing companies where you only need to purchase a small amount of "demo" product.
But the company, after receiving complaints from hundreds of women stuck with thousands of dollars of unsold leggings, agreed in 2017 to provide refunds to consultants who wanted out of the business.
Westerndorf sent back almost $6,000 worth of unsold leggings in early January. She's still waiting on her refund with no update on its status.
"I was expecting about $5,500 back," she said.
Some sellers have been complaining on Facebook and in a Buzzfeed report that the company is only offering them 90 percent back on what they spent on their inventory.
Westendorf says she understands why LuLaRoe would be unable to refund everyone 100 percent, and she is fine with just a 90 percent payout. It's the delay that is frustrating her, she said.
"Since January 23rd, I've been waiting," she said. "And I really can't get any answer from them at all."
We contacted LuLaRoe, and the company provided this statement: "We continue to be fully committed to making the process as seamless and efficient as possible. As a policy, we do not discuss the private and confidential business information of independent fashion retailers."
Westendorf could use that refund to put into her college tuition fund, but for now all she can do is keep checking.
"Three months is an awful long time to ask people to wait without any update," she said.
As always, don't waste your money.
“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).