Monday, 26 May 2014

Fashion: Online Rip-Off. My Experience With Jewellery Websites

Jewellery Fashion Online

You might have seen some of the independent jewellery brands that are currently booming everywhere online - especially on Twitter. Maybe it is just me because I'm addicted to fashion bling and statement necklaces, but hundreds of new websites have sprung up out of nowhere. I made the mistake and ordered from one of these websites and instead of receiving nice new pieces of sparkly jewellery, I got a lot of disappointment and hassle.

If it is Cherry Diva, Shourouk UK, Bijou Bazaar, The Little Gem Box, Statement Boutique, Diva Eva Couture and Co....from affordable to overpriced, you'll get a whole diversity of glitter and glam accessories offered.

Time for me to get active and check out those acclaimed 'must-have, statement' fashion brands. I've ordered two necklaces from The Little Gem Box and here's my review, which contains my own words and opinion.

|The Little Gem Box|

I've asked politely if the brand works with bloggers and if they'd like to support my jewellery piece. The brand didn't respond and ignored my requests. I've sent another email a few weeks later to find out if the brand uses a PR agency. Same again, no response.

The range includes statement jewellery which is according to the brand owner 'named after my [personal] holiday destinations'. The website bursts with pictures but definitely needs updating. There's no 'About' page, so it is hard to find out more or where the brand is based. Plus, there aren't any product descriptions or reviews displayed at all. So all you have is a picture, but no information on material or weight.

All signs clearly indicated a 'Stay away from this brand' but my inner greedy magpie won. I couldn't resist and in the end, I ordered two necklaces, the Thai Green £13 and the Midnight Manhattan £22. Quite a lot of money for a new, unknown brand but as I'm a supporter of start-up businesses, I was optimistic to give it a try.

The package came last week and I've only had time to open it this weekend. To be honest I was really disappointed. The jewellery was wrapped in bubble wrap and chucked into an A5 envelope. No note, no contact details, no business card, no nothing.

The jewellery is disappointing, too. The Thai Green is very poorly manufactured. The cords are scruffy and the clasp has glue all over. Same on the actual ornaments. Glue everywhere, which looks very tacky and cheap. However, the necklace is very light and I like the colour which will hopefully go well with one of my leggings.

The blue Midnight Manhattan is nice, no faults and very light as well, but for £22 I've expected a bit more. For the same price, I can get a Miss Selfridge Limited Edition Statement necklace, which is chunkier and better manufactured.

By the time I ordered from The Little Gem Box, they didn't offer any returns. I'm well aware of my loss of money and have learned from my mistake, but I'm sure there are hundreds of girls out there, who might be tempted to buy here, too.

EDIT: After I've posted my blog post, I received aggressive and threatening emails from the 'customer service' to remove my review. I was offered a refund but only if I sent the items first and cover the return costs, which I didn't agree to. I have already lost a lot of money and of all the negative experience beforehand, I'm careful now and my trust in this brand is gone.

Result: Overpriced jewellery, that looks cheap and tacky. Packaging and delivery were free, so was the disappointment that came with it, plus an appalling customer service. I have decided for myself that I will not buy here again.

|All That Glitters Isn't Gold|

This post was originally planned as a review, but during my research, I found out a few things that need sharing. I compared the collection of several online jewellery brands and noticed how many websites actually have the same pieces with horrendous price differences. This made me suspicious and I investigated further.

No matter if it is a pair of earrings, scarfs, handbags or necklaces, I found numerous other examples, so please have a look: a pair of peach earrings. Bijoux Bazaar sells them for £12, and Cherry Diva for £5.

Another example is this colourful, chunky necklace, called 'Ibiza Sunrise' for £26 (The Little Gem Box), but you can also find it under the name 'Star Bust' (£28 Diva Eva Couture) or 'Palm Springs' (£42 Bijoux Bazaar). The exact same item is also available on Ebay:

Even the Midnight Manhattan from The Little Gem Box is sold by Lucy Melrose UK at £22 under the name 'Annabell' and on Ebay.

Most items that I researched and compared can be found on Ebay. The items I looked up came all from China and were sold at a minimal price. I could continue with many more examples, but I think you get it. Better check a brand twice and be not as stupid and gullible to buy straight away. It is entirely up to you how you decide, but personally, I have no interest in wearing cheap jewellery.

If I wanted to wear cheap jewellery imported from China than I would have ordered it straight from Ebay and not from an overpriced jewellery website that sells the same item for far more than double the price.

It is off putting when you look for fashion jewellery, you want to support small businesses and in the end, you feel as if someone has completely tricked you. I have definitely learned my lesson and I will be more careful next time and use my brains. It is upsetting and annoying that you always have to double check and can't trust in anything these days anymore. It is also sad for any jewellery brand that makes an effort to create individual pieces and cares for their customers.

|Copies Can Be Found On The High Street, Too.|



The current Topshop Aztec necklace comes £12.90 looks like an exact replica of Primark's Aztec necklace from last year's summer season (£3). Topshop only added some childish colour and priced it 4x. What more can I say?

So be careful when you buy online and better check twice! Always run an Ebay search, because it can happen you'll find the exact item for less.

I hope you'll find this post useful. Feel free to comment if you have similar experience and till next time

xx Caz xx
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