Monday, 26 May 2014

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 made.

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 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 a similar experience.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Spotted. Polka Dot OOTD Style Post

Polka Dot Dress ASOS

Flicking through Madame Magazine for the latest Spring/Summer 2014 trends recently, I've discovered that one of my favourite styles is still en vogue this year: Polka Dots

This timeless pattern started to conquer the fashion world in the 50’s and had its big revival around 2008/2009. Michael Kors used an amazing dress for his catwalk show at London Fashion Week and I immediately thought it’s about time to get my dress back out. I’ve got a blue, strapless dress from ASOS in my wardrobe and wore it today.

I love to style my ASOS Polka Dot with brown or red accessories. Blue dresses combined with a white or red cardigan give the outfit a maritime touch. Polka Dot dresses are so versatile when it comes to styling, clearly a classic and timeless wardrobe essential!

I’m wearing:

Sunglasses: Warehouse (summer season 2013 SALE £14)
Necklace: Miss Selfridge (summer season 2013 SALE £2.50)
Dress: ASOS (spring season 2012 £30)
Satchel: Miss Selfridge (summer season 2013 SALE £10)
Flip Flops: New Look (spring season 2006 £16)


Thank you so much for checking out today's ootd post. Hope you've enjoyed my polka dot dress.
Till next time,
Carolin

*I'm really sorry this OOTD post only has one picture. During my blog move in April 2015, I've lost some of my pictures and unfortunately, this post was affected. 
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Kaleidoscopic Prints Will Make A Fashion Statement In 2014

Kaleidoscope Prints Fashion

I've recently seen some very nice kaleidoscopic prints in T! Magazine and DASH Magazine and I feel that the colourful print will become a big statement trend this year.


Where To Shop The Trend


Kaleidoscopic prints make their way very slowly into our shops, hence why I did a little online research and set my eyes on the limited edition 'Psychaleggings' range by Bristol-based label Common Threads. Leggings are a fashion essential in every woman's wardrobe and they usually come in plain white or black. Time to brighten fashion up and bring a twist to the urban street style.

The limited-edition features four very individual psychedelic and kaleidoscopic prints. They are not just explosions of vibrant colours and energetic designs, but also unite fashion with art and tell stories through textiles. The stories are individual and inspired by the Greek and Welsh mythology:

Mount Olympia captures the energy of Zeus, Father to the Greek Gods, whilst The Marine Rhyme depicts an ode to the sea and ocean. Queen Hera N'Now prisms Hera's sign - the eye of a peacock's feather tail and Aubergine Dream takes you to a Welsh summer garden to feel the energy of life and nature.

Kaleidoscope Leggings Fashion

The limited-edition is available at Bristol's Little Shop and online and retails at £50 per pair. The first 50 pairs will be sold at a special £40.

How To Wear The Trend?


The psychaleggings are different and unusual to normal boring black and white leggings. They are creative artworks and make a statement - so only for very brave and expressive fashionistas. I posted an outfit post with my kaleidoscope leggings here and whilst the leggings speak for themselves, I try to keep the rest of my outfit calm. I'll wear my artwork with a simple plain black or white shirt. This will support the prints powerful pattern and make it, even more, stand out.

Are you a leggings fan? Do you like wild and creative patterns or do you prefer calm colours? 

thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin
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