People leave direct sales companies for a variety of reasons: needing a new path, not aligning with company values, product issues, finding a better fit elsewhere. I’m going to say it right now GOOB (Going out of business) with LuLaRoe is not a shameful or dirty thing. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel inferior about your ‘next step’, whatever that means. There’s a lot of scapegoating happening that includes the word “GOOB” and I’m going to stomp that out right now. I’m giving you permission to liquidate the inventory you own in order to transition your business or move on from direct sales without any pressure from anyone else. Get some drama-blocking headphones and get to work. This won’t be an easy process. LuLaRoe GOOB is a lot of work. If you allow the drama vacuum to suck you in, you’re going to spend more time managing feelings of betrayal, guilt, and anger. Your GOOB process deserves all your attention – try to stay away from the GOOB gossip while you move toward your next chapter. It’ll be healthier for you heart in the end.
I decided around Valentine’s Day 2018 that it was my time to move on from LuLaRoe and while I was figuring out my next step I knew I needed to do this quick. I will not lie to you and say this was easy. I destashed 600ish pieces in 6 weeks, leaving me with around 70 pieces by the time I launched Paisley Raye Courage and Chaos Boutique on April 1st. If you have more pieces, there’s a good chance it is going to take you a bit longer. Be strong- this is a marathon.
My first tip is to start working on your destashes without publicly acknowledging that you’re going out of business. For about a week I sold clothing lots to other retailers, while still running my business at retail with my customers. I didn’t want the extra expectations from other retailers (hello, LuLaRoe GOOB stigma!) and I didn’t want to invite a gigantic wave of discount shoppers into my community because I intended to move that community to a new boutique brand once I was liquidated. Destash to retailers for the first 1-2 weeks.
Make your big announcement.
It’s exciting and terrifying to tell everyone that you’re stepping away from one brand and moving to another. I knew I was joining Paisley Raye after that first week, and I began the process of speaking to the owners, figuring out my sponsor situation, and getting the legal aspects in motion (a reseller’s license from my state!). I announced that I was leaving but intentionally didn’t share where I was going. I didn’t want a bunch of squirreling from my loyal customers, I wanted to focus on exiting and liquidating LuLaRoe first before I began the emotional transition for my customers.
Stair-step your discounts.
I really wanted to get my customers the clothing they wanted that was left in my shop because I knew that some of them were die-hard LuLaRoe fans and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! If it meant that was my last interaction with them, I wanted to it be positive. I started at 25%, then went down to 40%, then hit 50%. Finally, at the very end, I did an “if it fits it ships” and sold about 15 flat rate padded mailers stuffed to the brim with LuLaRoe in their size. I tried to give a space of two weeks between my last LuLaRoe sale in my community and my official Paisley Raye launch, just to give everyone a breather.
You can’t be picky if you want to move fast.
If you’re starting a new boutique or switching to a new brand, you’ll need to figure out your transition and startup costs. Its very likely your shop will not need a ton of new things for shipping, storing, and managing inventory, so your main focus is going to hit the $ amount you need to buy stock for your launch party. For me, that was around $3000 and when I hit that mark I took a deep breath and then stopped worrying about how much I was selling each piece for. In the end, I was joining bargain bin GOOB multi groups and posting what I could in the $10-$5 bins. There comes a point where you need the space back and refusing to go any lower than wholesale is going to bite you in the ass. Again, people will try to blame you or “GOOBs” for “ruining the market” but their opinions of you are none of your business. Do what you need to.
Don’t forget the power of local!
There are many routes you take locally too. Have a sidewalk or garage sale. Let people fill their own bags full of Lula for $10. Participate in a community garage sale if you have one of them coming up (make sure not to present yourself as a LulaRoe retailer if you’ve canceled your contract). Invite other retailers over to come shop what you have left for discounts, that can have a positive impact on your local retailers as well who get a deal. You can even try to sell it in blind lots for cheap, which is what I ended up doing. An eBay reseller bought the last 68 pieces from me for $300. The freedom was overwhelming! Many people end up donating the rest of their stock and take the loss as a tax deduction.
I’d love to help you with your transition & I wish you the best of luck! Be strong, keep focused, and make your moves.
Have you thought about transitioning your boutique to Paisley Raye? Join our “Starting a Paisley Raye Boutique” group and fill out this form so we can get in contact with you!