The Importance of Reputation

Twice in my last post I said: “More on that later” in reference to the fact that I don’t sell things in the auction-style pages unless they are in excellent condition and that I save my most heavily used or damaged items for eBay. The reason I don’t sell damaged or heavily used items on the Facebook pages, which are more public than I care to admit is for that very reason. They are very public. One poor sale, or unhappy buyer can result in a negative impact on your reputation resulting in a negative impact on sales. This is true in any business but is especially true in such a tight-knit community as exists on these pages.

This is why I issue this necessary warning to those of you who are new to the secondary market and Facebook pages. Try to take very good care of your Lululemon clothing. (More on that later :)) Only sell things on the Facebook pages that are in excellent condition OR disclose all flaws, honestly, and if there are flaws take pictures of them in the most honest way that you can. As an added service, you can also offer to pay PayPal fees, or return shipping if they don’t like the item. These actions are not expected, but will go a long way in ensuring that your buyers are happy and that in the event of a disagreement where an administrator is to be involved, you will be declared the most gracious party. This is important because at any time and for whatever reason, an administrator may remove you from her page. Some buyers are malicious and would rather report you to PayPal or the administrator for reasons that are beyond your control (for example, it doesn’t fit) or because they decided they need the money (some items sell for hundreds of dollars) but maintaining a good reputation will ensure that the administrators of the page will talk to you before kicking you off their page.

I’ve taken the time to issue this warning because if you use any of the advice on my pages to your benefit I’d rather think I was sending responsible, accountable, benevolent, respectful, compassionate and understanding people to participate in the community rather than anything contrary to that.

Happy Selling!

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How to Determine Where to Sell Your Item.

So you’ve got some used Lululemon clothes and you’d like to get some cash for them. In my last post How To Enter the Lululemon Resale Market, I talked about the different places to sell your item. I’m going to go over the pros and cons of each type of place. To my mind there are three types of places to sell your item. One is eBay, another is a straight buy/ sell page and the final is an auction-style page.

Let’s begin with eBay. eBay is by far the place where you’ll find the most potential buyers. I have yet to list a Lululemon item for $1 starting bid and not have it sell for a modestly fair price. I love the wide range of buyers my product is exposed to and rarely, if ever, do I have problems on eBay. Personally, however, this is the place where I sell my most heavily used items. I list the product AND its faults, start it at a dollar and it always sells, even if it has a hole or a stain. Basically, eBay is where I get rid of things I’ve used over and over again, because I don’t want them to be associated with me and my name. More on that later. Pros: most exposure Cons: PayPal and eBay take a fairly large chunk in fees.

Next, the basic buy & sell format pages. These are great because you can write down your items in a list with your asking price like so:

MANY ITEMS FOR SALE! Sizes 4-8

Tops size 4:

No Limits Tank in Polar Cream/ Deep Indigo, EUC – $45

NLT in PP/ Black, EUC – $55

Cool Racerback – Heathered Menthol – $40

Tops Size 6:

*************************************** (Insert the remainder of your ad)

All prices do not include shipping from (insert place where you live)

PayPal as Gift or Buyer Pays Fees.

Those last two lines will save you a fortune. Sometimes I post my prices with shipping included, sometimes I don’t include shipping but say “Buyer pays exact shipping.” Not paying PayPal fees saves you 4 percent and not paying eBay fees saves 10. It can be a lot of money once you add it up.

Direct Selling Pages Pros: Get your asking price, no cost to list or final value fee, buyer must pay PayPal fees if paid as goods. Direct Selling Pages Cons: It can take longer to sell your item. A lot of the time you’ll get low-ball offers. I suggest politely telling them that your price is the price for which you’re willing to part with a piece of your collection.

Finally, we have the bidding pages. These are the most fun. Although, even if you run them properly it can take several tries to sell your item if it is not highly desired, if your asking price is too high or if it’s a bear market.

Pros: If you price it right, your item should sell in a day. If not, it will probably still sell. Condition, however, is very important. I don’t sell anything on the bidding pages unless it’s in excellent condition. More on that later. Cons: It takes way more effort to sell on a bidding page because you must post your ad, and “bump” your post (bumping is commenting on your post so that it goes back to the top of the page), as frequently as is allowed on that page and baby-sit your post just in case someone asks a question of for more pictures, etc.

Overall, this is how I do things: I sell all my very used, or much older Lululemon pieces on eBay. I am sure to mention all the flaws, but it’s basically a guarantee that whatever I no longer want stops taking up valuable real-estate in my closet. If I have many pieces to sell, I post them on one of the straight buy/ sell pages. It’s the fastest way to get the most exposure and I usually sell two or three items the first day. If I only have one or two pieces to sell and they’re in immaculate condition, I’ll run an auction for a few days and take my time selling it in order to get the highest price possible. If it doesn’t sell at one price, maybe it will sell for $5 less a few days later. You never know who’s looking, you might get lucky that day.

One exception to my rule is when I know I have a very highly sought after item. I’ll put it on eBay because even considering the fees, I know I’ll get the highest price there.

How to Enter the Lululemon Resale Market

You can start with eBay.

Rephrase: You COULD start with eBay. But you don’t want to. eBay fees are pretty high. Well, compared to zero fees, eBay fees are high. What you want to do is start on the many Facebook groups dedicated to the sale and resale (and resale) of Lululemon apparel. The biggest is called the Lululemon Exchange, there’s also the Lululemon Bidding Battles (LBB) site where many unicorns are posted daily. (Don’t know what a Unicorn is? Check out my other post about the vernacular of a Lululemon addict.) There’s also a Canadian Version of LBB, where the seller only has the right to ship only within Canada. The Lululemon Market is popular, and The Lululemon Trading Post has a similar format. Each site has their own rules. The main reason myself, and many other people use these sites is to avoid eBay fees, sell to people who love LLL as much as we do and so that when there is a problem buyer or seller they can be removed from the group. Most of the time, the transactions go off without a hitch. Myself, I’ve never had a problem.

The Lululemon Market is simple: You can post your item to the wall, for whatever price you want and you’re allowed to bump it every few days. You also have the option of adding your photo to a size album and then bumping it to the wall.

The Trading Post has similar rules: You can post your item in an album with a price, then bump it to the wall, with subsequent bumping allowed only once every 7 days. While pricing is not “policed,” fairness in pricing is politely requested.

The Lululemon Exchange is both the largest group and the one with the most rigid guidelines. You may post your item to the wall, or you may post it to a size album, but you may not do both. Also, it is specified that no photos may be posted to the wall, therefore any ads you post to the wall are to be text based only. You may not bump your post to the wall when it is added to a size album, you must wait 7 days. You may not bump your posts more than once every 7 days. This is to ensure that the wall is not flooded with too many repeat ads. They also have very strict rules about pricing. So, read carefully.

Lululemon Bidding Battles: The idea is simple enough: you post a photo to the wall of your item, stating the name, size, condition, starting bid, buy it now (BIN) price (optional) and ending time (24 hours from the start time) and people are free to bid on (or BIN) your item. You’re allowed 6 bumps during the 24 hour run time, plus one extra “to the wall,” if you post in a size album. This is the best place, by far, to sell hard to find items, or pricier ones.

There you have it. Your entry into the Lululemon after-sales market is a simple Facebook search away.

Of course sometimes links are helpful too:

The Lululemon Market is located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/281577148614119/

The Lululemon Exchange is located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/luluexchange/

The Trading Post is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161513970598488/

Lululemon Bidding Battles is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/143922069083293/

I hope that helps 🙂

UPDATE:

There’s another group that started in the same month that I wrote this post (June of 2013), that I hadn’t added to this list, even after it gained popularity. It now has over 3,000 members and there’s a lot of action in the group! It’s called the Unicorn Bidding Field and you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lululemonbidding/ Enjoy & Happy Selling! Thanks to Jen for helping out with this update!

UPDATE:

The Canadian version of LBB, while once fairly popular has not seen much action lately. This is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Canada.LBB/ if you would still like to join. Thanks to Sherri for helping out with this update!

UPDATE: I found a page for Canadian sales that seems to have more action. It’s called Lululemon Canadian Combat and can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lululemoncanadiancombat/

UPDATE: Lululemon 911, a seller-focused market has become quite popular. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/549663845180180/

Lululemon Slang Terms

The Vernacular of a Lululemon Addict

If you’re thinking about entering the world of after market Lululemon sales, you must be versed in the vernacular of the indigenous population of Lulu collectors, lest you become lost in the Swirl of Peri-manifesto print.

Quickly, let’s go over some of the most common abbreviations and terms.

General terms:

Unicorn: An item that the party has been searching for for a long time, that is both rare and highly desirable. Many people’s unicorns are also the unicorns of others as well.

GEC: Guest Education Centre, basically, Lululemon’s Customer Service

ISO: In search of. People will post ads stating that they are in search of an item in hopes that someone will reply to that ad with the item that they are looking for, and hopefully a fair asking price.

DISO: Desperately in search of

FS: For sale

NWT: New with tags

NWOT: New without tags

VEUC: Very excellent used condition (I use this for items when I’m not actually sure whether I wore them even once or not)

EUC: Excellent used condition

VGUC/ GUC: Very/ good used condition

EMT: Email Money Transfer, a Payment method available to Canadians

TTS: True to Size, indicating that the buyer bought their normal size in the item

Bump: A bump is when someone comments on their own post (usually just saying “bump,” sometimes using a *) which moves it to the top of the page until someone else posts or bumps their post.

IMO: In my opinion

MD: Mark down, indicates something is on sale, or was purchased for the sale price.

PM: Private message

MSG: Message

Angel: An angel is a community member who will purchase an item for you at a location convenient to them, accept payment for the item- including postage, and often a tip- and mail the item to you.

PP: When in regards to a purchase it means, “payment pending.” ie: Someone may comment on their own post stating, “sold, pp.”

CAN: Canada

US: United States

OOTD: Outfit of the day

UPLOAD!!! : Once a week, Lululemon adds new items to the website. Sometimes during the holiday season Lululemon will upload extra items at random..

UPDATE ON UPLOAD TIME: As of February 6th, 2016,  uploads have been occurring no later than 5pm EST on Tuesday afternoons. Times do vary slightly.

LOOT or WMTM or MD: We Made Too Much, formerly called “loot” is generally uploaded on Thursday mornings, very early. It is filled with items that are on Mark Down (reduced in price). Sometimes, over the holiday season, WMTM doesn’t get uploaded as often, but then normal uploads come more often.

Colours:

PP: Paris Pink

LR: Love Red

Articles of Clothing:

PO: Pullover

WUPs/ WUCs: Wunder Under Pants, Wunder Under Crops

NLT: No limits tank

WTF: What the fluff

DSC/ DSPs: Dance Studio Crops, Dance Studio Pants

DSJ: Dance Studio Jacket

GW: Gratitude Wrap

SW: Savasana Wrap

AW: Awareness Wrap

CRB: Cool Racerback

LS: Long Sleeve

WWA: Wear With All, a type of jacket

 

What drives the prices of USED clothing over retail?

The collectibility of Lululemon is undeniable. Some people must have all the Vinyasa scarves, others want an impressive collection of Wunder Under pants. Some people collect all items in Teal Zeal, others must have Pique everything! I’m a sucker for Define jackets, and Groove Pants. All of us are willing to pay more than retail for our most desired items. Who knows, maybe you have the latest coveted treasure hiding in your closet!?

Apart from the obvious collectibility of Lululemon clothing, is the quality. The general quality of Lululemon clothing has, historically, been impressive. I have many items in my closet that have lasted through the years, despite regular, rigorous use. Fast forward to today: over the past year Lululemon has presented its loyal client base with no fewer than four serious issues.

Having had personal experience with color bleeding and poor seam construction, I must admit to being extra cautious when purchasing NEW Lululemon products, in-store. It used to be customary for me to go in to my local retail establishment, be greeted by name, choose my selected garment (having done my research the evening before), and walk out the door without even trying it on. I used to spend my money on retail clothing, in-store. And, I still do, but only on selected items. And I try everything on. I check the seams, quickly, and I do a bend test to “make sure the coverage suits my needs.” The bulk of my spending now occurs in the after-market where I can buy better quality products at inflated prices. But I’m very happy to pay those prices, as long as i get what I want. And so are a lot of other people.

The collectibility of the items is created by Lululemon’s scarcity model, they only make so many of each style and color. The desirability is enhanced by the current trend of on-going product quality issues. As it stands, even if I thought that they were going to bring the Define jacket back into production, I would still prefer to purchase them in the after-market sales arena, rather than in-store, because their used clothing lasts longer than their newer offerings. As an aside, I have heard rumors that the define jacket will be put back into production. However, I’m concerned that they will reduce the quality of the materials and create a bastardized version of my beloved Define jacket. This worries me.

 

UPDATE:

The Define may or may not be coming back into production based on the results of a survey/ vote process that Lululemon is currently conducting on Hey Lululemon! .com I’ll discuss these results in a future post.

UPDATE: HeyLululemon.com has been retired. Also, the Define did come back! I wrote a post about it!

 

Lululemon example of some different pinks.

Lululemon example of some different pinks.

Clockwise (beginning with the Runder Under that has some black), left to right: Raspberry Glo, Blush Quartz, Pink Shell, Flash, Paris Pink, Pow Pink and Pinkelicious.

Your Entry into the Cult(ure) of so-called Lululemon Addicts.

People who love Lululemon clothing, myself included, obsessively study and monitor the past and current trends of the offerings. They know all the color codes and the difference between Raspberry Glo, Blush Quartz, Pink Shell, Flash, Paris Pink, Pow Pink and Pinkelicious. They know all the small nuanced differences between each Lululemon product and the names of all the products. The FedEx man refers to them as his “regular 2:00pm stop.” They can immediately identify someone who is wearing Lululemon and tell you the name of the product and the color. They treat their clothing like a wearable art collection rather than as garments that will expire, go “out of style,” and need to be thrown away.

It is for this reason that Lululemon’s clothing can both maintain and/or increase in value over time. When something becomes a collectible, the value of the item is controlled by the desirability (demand) as well as the availability (supply) of the item. For example, recently, I saw at auction a Lululemon Define Jacket in Royalty Space Dye sell for $500! These jackets retail for $99. This particular color first appeared in Hong Kong in late July of 2011, as discussed on the ever popular Lululemon Addict Blog. How does a jacket fetch over 5 times retail within 2 years of being released? Simply put: it’s Lululemon.

Lululemon Addicts, follow this blog and two others in order to stay current on the newest items. Lululemon has their own blog, where they will often preview things http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/, and http://lulumum.blogspot.com/, is also popular. Another source of information is lululemon’s twitter feed: https://twitter.com/lululemon, where they recently revealed the new golf collection. The reason it is necessary to inform yourself so thoroughly is because once you begin to identify yourself as a collector of Lululemon clothing, you have by default also become a speculator of the market.

So, begins your entry into the after market sales of Lululemon.