“This is one of my favorites,” Amy Reyes of Escondido said, showing off a colorful Lularoe skirt, “This is why I started selling, I loved how soft they were.”
At first, Amy Reyes loved being a Lularoe consultant. She said she paid $5,000 up front for a starter kit of clothes and didn’t look back.
“I would order every week, and pretty much when you order, it’s close to about $1,000,” Amy said.
Melani Bruce in Clairemont agrees. “It was amazing, I started as a buyer addict I’d like to say,” Melani said.
Melani said she was hooked after her friends sold her on Lularoe so she took out a line of credit and paid $6,000 up front for a starter kit of clothes to sell.
Both Amy and Melani said they made sales through Facebook and with open house parties. For their first year, both said they were committed to Lularoe until they faced some struggles with their health.
“I had already been having health problems,” Amy said, “I had a breast lump removed two years ago and I started having more issues again.”
Amy, the mother of two, said she couldn’t keep up with the Lularoe demand to be successful.
Melani also needed to take a break and said her doctor wrote her a medical leave letter for Lularoe.
“I was working my butt off, I was selling $18,000 a month,” Melani said, “and all of a sudden, I developed vertigo and when you have vertigo, it’s debilitating.”
In April, both women received emails from the Lularoe company announcing a new change to the company’s return policy. Lularoe said it would issue 100% refunds for most items to consultants leaving the company and would cover shipping costs to return the items. Melani said she believed this stemmed from consultants leaving the business underselling other consultants selling items at regular price.
Both Amy and Melani decided in August that due to their health challenges, they would leave the company. After their resignations were approved by the company, both women waited to receive their shipping labels.
When Amy received hers, she began packing. “This whole kitchen was filled with clothes,” Amy said. Amy sent everything back to the company and then in September, both women received troubling news.
“They changed their policy,” Amy said, “90% and people had to pay to ship it back.”
Both women said Lularoe announced the company was reverting back to its original return policy, leaving them unsure of what to do next.
“My stomach dropped,” Melani said, “basically I have to pay for shipping and 19 boxes, I think its like 100-dollars a box.”
Amy said she had no reason to believe she wouldn’t get her full refund since she had sent everything back prior to the return change and the company said she would receive her check within two months. Two months went by and Amy said it didn’t happen, so she called NBC 7 Responds for help.
NBC 7 Responds reached out to Lularoe and weeks later, Amy started getting some personal attention. Another week later, Amy received a check for over $10,000.
In October, a group of Lularoe sellers filed a class-action lawsuit against Lularoe claiming breach of contract for reverting to the company’s original return policy. Melani said she did not want to join the lawsuit, so she contacted NBC 7 Responds for help.
NBC 7 Responds reached out to Lularoe on Melani’s behalf but the company did not provide any specific details or timeline regarding Melani’s account. Melani said it has left her to worry she might have to pay for shipping and might not see a full refund.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just sobbed on the couch because I feel like such an idiot for believing this dream,” Melani said.
NBC 7 Responds reached out to Lularoe and in an email, the company said, “We continue to process Returns on Cancellation of Business Requests after careful review and as practicable. We are in direct communication with each Independent Fashion Retailer during this time as they move through the various stages of their request."