(Pictures are in links in each section. Please don't mind the lack of a hairstyle/make up. It's a review, after all; paying attention to the item rather than my face is more important. :D)
1. I signed up for an account on the site (you have to) and placed my order of 6 items. 3 items were from White Moon, 1 item was from HMHM, 1 item was from Dear Celine, and the last item was from Boguta.
2. I was invoiced via PayPal and I paid.
3. Ryan (Real name Yong Li) emailed me and told me the 3 items from White Moon were unavailable and he'd refund me when he shipped the remaining ones. I am actually currently ordering 2 of these items which have been confirmed to be available via Qutieland. I have no idea what happened there.
4. It gets to be the end of November (I ordered in mid-October) and he has the items from Dear Celine and Boguta, but not HMHM. They hadn't even started on my dress. It took them 9 days to finish, but when he got the dress, it was the wrong color. By this time I'd opened a PayPal dispute because I had no items. I'm not sure what happened but Ryan told me he'd refund me for this item. I'm not sure if he decided he didn't want to ask them to remake it or if they actually couldn't.
5. When I opened the dispute, Ryan asked me to close it right away. He also asked another one of his customers if she had opened the dispute and accidentally forwarded me that email with that customer. I told him I would close it when he shipped the items and refunded me. He shipped the items but then told me he couldn't refund me because he didn't have enough money because PayPal froze the funds, and that I'd have to close the dispute to get the refund. Taking a big chance, I did, and he refunded immediately.
6. Some little quirks I wasn't quite right with besides all that:
- He charged me 3 dollars per item for shipping on the items that were unavailable, and claimed it was a service fee for talking to the seller, making the order, paying, finding out they were unavailable, and then getting the money back. However he already charges 15% as a service fee.
- Also, shipping turned out to be 90 dollars. I'm not sure what that's about? It ended up being 2 items; a coat and a dress. Is that normal for EMS? EDIT: I have been informed this is normal. My bank account is going to hate me very very soon! DOUBLE EDIT: I'm seeing from the comments shipping is normally expensive but not THIS expensive... :o
- His site went down and he had a personally written error message (mispelled Engrish and all) and claimed he didn't know it was down until I emailed him about it a day later. Not a big deal, just something strange.
-The items were packed in a small garbage bag with a label taped over it rather than a box. It had a few holes in it, but the items each had their own bag inside the garbage bag and weren't damaged, so I suppose that's fine. I didn't know you could ship using garbage bags? lol
-You're running a business, shouldn't you have enough funds for your needs? :o
So all of that added up kind of makes a lot of negatives for the shopping service. I made a post asking if anyone had used taobaoagent.com before and a couple comments mentioned he sounded inexperienced. I will definitely not use this service again unless I hear it improves. Organization seems to be Ryan's biggest problem. So for taobaoagent.com, I'd give the service a 1.5 out of 5.
On to the actual items!
The coat was the first thing I saw in the package. I was a little confused and worried I'd gotten a wrong item because the color was so drab compared to online! But when I pulled it out, sure enough it was the coat.
(The last couple are weird because the batteries died and messed up the settings. I didn't know this and turned it back on and took 2 more pictures. When I got them off the SD card, I noticed this but the camera wouldn't even turn on and we have no more batteries!)
- The weird tag
- The bow stitching showing through
- The coat open
- The coat closed
- The coat from the back
- The example from Boguta's page for the item (for color comparison)
-It seems to be warm. I have yet to wear it outside, but it was a lot heavier than I was expecting, which is good. It's all Wisconsiny up here (...Usually. I'm blatantly surprised it hasn't snowed yet.)
-The color is off. The advertised color is much more saturated. This isn't THAT bad, but it's definitely more toned down than I was expecting. In fact, it's so different I don't think I can wear it with the dress I got without it looking weird. But it doesn't make it unwearable.
I might order from Boguta again, but if I do it won't be a coat and it might not have color. After the weird color I got I think it'd be safer to stick to white or black. I'm not entirely disappointed; after all, you get what you pay for. So I'd give the item a 3 out of 5 mostly for functionality and being true to design.
Dear Celine One Piece:
I got really really excited when I pulled this out of the package. You see, from what I've seen online of Dear Celine, I wish I could own like every piece of theirs. They just seem to have a lot of 'hits' with me; like that beige/brown Deer print JSK or the yellow rose OP. Unfortunately they don't have them left in my size.... Ah well!
-The color is true to the picture. The pink is a perfect match!
-It came dresses as a hairy spider! By that I mean it was covered in threads. My mom sews regularly, so I know how threads catch and stay and hide in the thing you're making. I even found threads that were BLACK in there! What bothered me was the untrimmed threads though. There are two places where the serging has come loose and I had to tie off the thread and cut it. One of the armpits had extra empty serging, which I tied off and trimmed.
I give the item a 4.5 out of 5. The cons are more incidental and the pros definitely outweigh them. Because, again, "Oh my God this dress". I'm going to "Buy ALL the Dear Celine!"
Overall, I'd say the experience was a bad one. I only have myself to blame for not choosing a more widely-used service, though. Except for HMHM being slow; that was all on them and it's possible the wrong color dress ordeal could have been solved if they weren't so late in the first place. My suggestions? DO order from Dear Celine. BE WARY of ordering from Boguta. ONLY order from HMHM if you've got half a year to wait for an order. DO NOT use TaobaoAgent.com for your shopping service.
The end! :D