- Lululemon customers are reporting that the retailer is cracking down on the reselling of its clothing on sites like eBay by blocking them from buying on its website. The policy has garnered complaints on Facebook and elsewhere.
- The company confirmed the crackdown, and notes on its website: "We do not support the re-sale of new product, especially if it is at an elevated price point. Sometimes re-sellers also include used product in their inventory, however our focus is on new product re-sales, especially items listed at an elevated price point."
- The retailer only allows returns of unworn merchandise within 14 days of purchase, even if the item was a gift.
Lululemon's infamous customer-bashing founder is gone from his executive role with the company, but it's managed to alienate some of its biggest fans nevertheless. Customers who have missed the strict 14-day window for returns and tried to re-coup their investment by selling unwanted items on re-sale sites like eBay are now finding that they are blocked from buying from the retailer's website. The stated reason for Lululemon's crackdown is that if it's not in charge of selling its own goods, it can't appropriately educate and interact with its customers.
Irate customers are interacting with them, all right — complaining about the policy on Facebook and elsewhere. It's just not clear what the payoff is for the retailer on this issue. Until it eases up on its return policies, it looks like it's just inviting more customer backlash, and from some of its biggest-spending customers at that. This is in an era when its competitors are not only happy to take back unwanted clothing in a wider return window, but are also content to look the other way when customers unload their gear on eBay.