Lululemon customers who sold used or new-with-tags items became outraged that the company was blacklisting their IP addresses and barring them from buying its merchandise from its website. The move set off a massive, loud backlash, much of it expressed on the retailer's social media pages.
The FAQ section of Lululemon's website once explained why customers couldn’t resell its products, but now reads, ““We completely recognize that once someone purchases our product they can do what they want with it. We do not, however, support those who acquire large volumes of our product to resell 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.
You’d think a retailer savvy enough to keep people spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on fitness gear would know how to avoid unnecessarily making those same people feel shame, anger, and frustration over things like comments and policies. This public relations debacle — not allowing customers to resell clothing on eBay and other sites despite having American retail’s most draconian return policy — was puzzling on many levels. The trouble for Lululemon is that it plays right into the company’s reputation for gracelessness and even bullying behavior, adding yet another page to the Lululemon chapter in marketing students' playbooks on "What Not To Do."