Costco Sells Super Cheap Lululemon Dupes—Are They Just as Good?
Experts weigh in on whether or not the cheaper versions are worth it.
Costco's biggest fans know that the store is more than just a place to buy essentials in bulk. The warehouse retailer can also be a surprisingly reliable resource for things like electronics, books, wine, and even clothing. And now, social media is abuzz after shoppers discovered that Costco sells super cheap Lululemon dupes. But is the low price tag worth it? Read on to hear from retail experts about whether or not these dupes are as good as the real thing.
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Shoppers are posting about potential Lululemon dupes sold at Costco.
Even though Lululemon has earned its reputation as a high-quality brand, many shoppers who are in the market for great athletic wear can still find it hard to make the higher price tags work within their budget. But thanks to social media, getting your hands on the workout gear you want might be possible with a quick stop by Costco.
In a video posted in April, TikTok user @jsapproved claims that Mondetta leggings available at the warehouse retailer are practically perfect dupes for Lululemon's popular Softstreme pants that currently sell for $148. By comparison, the Costco version is listed on the store's website at $12.97.
Users took to the comments section to agree with the comparison. "These are the best! So soft!" one exclaimed. Another said the pair she had bought was "so comfy" and "so stylish."
Other users have posted videos pointing out other Costco-carried brands, such as a super soft sweatshirt made by Sage Collective that mirrors Lululemon's Softstreme Crew; a Spyder lightweight zip-up jacket on sale for $20 compared to the $118 Luon jacket; and a Lole belt bag, which sells at Costco for $14.99 compared to a Lululemon version that sells for $38 to $52.
Experts point out that these brands aren't Costco exclusives.
Even though these items can provide a relatively easy way to save some money on your wardrobe, it's not exactly fair to say they're limited items. Unlike the store's in-house Kirkland brand, products by Lole, Mondetta, Sage Collective, and Spyder aren't Costco exclusives and are all available for sale elsewhere, Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, tells Best Life.
"You can shop most—if not all—of them directly, too," she adds.
Still, she points out that the items at Costco could be exclusive designs or at a much better price than shopping direct—and it's worth checking the brands' websites to see if the item is available there if you're having a hard time locating it at your local store.
"Even if you have to pay more, it'll likely still be cheaper than the Lululemon counterpart, which is still a win," Ramhold says.
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Supplies of certain products may not last too long on the shelves at Costco.
Even if Costco is a great resource for bargain Lululemon dupes, time may not be on your side.
"Another thing to remember is that items at Costco are very seasonal, and in many cases, once they're gone, that's it: They won't necessarily be restocked," Ramhold explains. "So if you see a piece of clothing or an accessory you like that seems to be a Lululemon dupe, it's better to grab it while you can and then return if necessary rather than risk waiting until later and having it sell out entirely."
She adds that it's rare you can beat the Costco price—especially when compared to Lululemon—so it's usually a small risk to lean into the purchases rather than giving yourself time to think about it and miss out.
So, is it worth it?.
But do the items themselves live up to expectations? Some experts with personal experience say they can be surprisingly spot-on.
"I've tried the [Lole] belt bag, and it's honestly a great find," Elisa Bender, co-founder of e-commerce service RevenueGeeks, tells Best Life. "The fabric and quality are excellent. I wasn't expecting them to be of such good quality, but Costco has outdone itself," adding that even though the fabric initially felt stiffer, it eventually softened.
However, Ramhold says this could vary across the board because each product is from a different brand. "Fits will also vary widely, again because of brands as well as materials and construction. This isn't to say the affordable alternatives are badly made, but they may not fit exactly like the more expensive item they resemble."
She adds that while Costco sometimes has arrangements with big-name designers and suppliers to offer high-quality goods at a more affordable price point, that doesn't mean that everything else will be the same—including sizing.
"The good thing is that Costco has a very generous return policy, so as long as you try on items quickly at home and determine whether or not they fit, you shouldn't have any real issues with getting a refund and swapping them for a different size," Ramhold says.