Tuesday, May 22, 2018

PSA: Little things we've learned by doing what we do.

Do you get those random advertisements in your Facebook feed for
clothes 👗,
makeup 💄,
household items 🏺,
or discount shopping apps 📱?

Of course you do.

We all do.

Well, in case you haven't already figured this out - the reason these places can sell things to you so cheap are because they can get them even cheaper. So that FLASH SALE! for 75% off means that whoever you're buying from is still making a profit and you have no idea what sort of quality you're going to get.

In addition some (not all) of these companies buy what they sell you for peanuts, change the packaging, and charge a 500% mark-up or more! I stopped playing that game a decade ago and never looked back.

On occasion, we check out places like these just to see where the products are coming from, what quality they provide, and what the better deals are. We are in the business of finding the best prices for our clients, so we've got to check the competition, right? So, we ordered makeup from a company that offers FREE makeup, a dress from a company that constantly offers 50% off sales, and a waist cincher from another company at a "HUGE DISCOUNT".

And then we went to work.

When we received the shipping notifications, all of the products were being shipped from overseas, not from inside the US like their websites seem to be. Some of them had no shipping estimate, and the tracking numbers didn't register. - Uncool. I've dealt with this a number of times, because I use overseas suppliers as well. It's always annoying, but at least we respond to emails and offer some sort of guarantee...

Anyway -

Most of these places ask you to pay shipping for "free" items, and the shipping costs are outrageous. That's because they don't have the shipping costs we have in the US, so they're actually charging you for the product - not the shipping. Paying $12.50 in shipping for a "Free" tube of lipstick suddenly doesn't sound as tempting.

So I went to OUR suppliers and looked for comparable products. For the same or better quality products, we spent less than 1/3 as much and shipping to us was free. Returning the products we'd received from these other companies was almost impossible, and one actually wanted us to pay to return the products - which would have cost more than the refunded amount (so they *still* made money, and you're still out a product).

One of the reasons we do this is because we're tired of seeing people ripped off like that. They're in it to rip consumers off - we're in it because we love what we do. Everything we find for our clients, we inspect first, and if it isn't up to the quality you expected, we don't charge you for it. Period. No hassle. No returns. And you decide whether we continue the search for you.

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