As my curiosity with Indie makeup increased, I decided to take a chance and place an order with a brand/seller I am not familiar with. A month ago, I ordered a few items with Smash Cosmetics, which you can find on Etsy. Seller offers a variety of makeup such as eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipgloss, and hair dyes...all of which is handmade. Seller claims the eyeshadows and lip colors are vegan. Seller also provides list of ingredients with all of her products.
This was my first Etsy purchase so I relied mainly on the feedbacks. The majority were positive so I decided to give it a go. Let's just say, things didn't go as expected...
I just received my order last Thursday. Yes, it took that long and it has got to the point I felt the need to open a case with Paypal because I was getting frustrated with my order hanging in limbo somewhere.
So here's the time line of my dilemma...
July 15 - Placed my order and paid using Paypal
July 25 - I was provided with a tracking number, going via USPS.
July 31 - Almost a week later, I messaged seller asking about my order because I have not received it and there is no tracking activity with the tracking number she provided me with.
August 1 - Seller messaged back and apologized for the delay due to a medical emergency. Although I got the tracking number, the package hasn't gone out thus why no activity. She promised she will ship it the next day. That bothered me but ok fine. Seller provided me a 60% off coupon on my next purchase for putting up with the inconvenience.
August 2 - I messaged seller again to see if it has shipped because there was not shipping activity. Seller replied that it was mailed the night before and to allow 24 hrs for tracking activity to appear.
August 7 - still no shipping activity and no sign of the packaging. It's been almost a month and I'm getting frustrated with this order. I opened a case with Paypal. Seller replied same day and said she is going to check with the post office. Later on, she replied back and said several of her orders shipped the same day are MIA as well. Doesn't help me but oh well, at least she's looking into it.
August 8 - Package arrived with no tracking activity. FINALLY! I went to bed early and didn't get a chance to open my package.
August 9- I opened the package and inspected it to make sure everything is in order and it was. I cancelled the Paypal case and messaged seller that I had my package.
Things you need to know if this has never happened to you:
- Always use Paypal when you are taking chances with a business you are not familiar with. First, it's the safest way to pay without providing them with your credit card detail. Second, if something goes wrong, you have the opportunity to have your case reviewed by Paypal and possibly get your money back.
- Try to resolve the problem with the seller first. If seller doesn't respond, is unwilling to work things out, or no action is taken, open a case with Paypal.
- Remember, you have 45 days, from the time you send the payment to open a case.
- If the case isn't resolved between you and the seller, you must escalate it within 20 days from the time the case is opened and a Paypal representative will handle your case from there.
- If you receive your items, make sure you inspect them and that you are satisfied with them before closing the case. Once it is closed, it cannot be re-opened.
As far as the seller goes, I give her props for her quick responses and her willingness to try to work things out with the problem. It's nice to offer discount to your customers when things go wrong but it's better to just get it right from the get go. First impression is critical, especially if you want the customer to return.
On the other hand, the order still took longer than expected to process. Seller stated on her page that it will take 5-7 business days to process orders. I was a little ticked off at the fact that I waited a week for my package just to find out it hasn't even shipped. Then I got even more annoyed when I checked back and there is still no shipping activity. At the time I didn't know what was going on and I was really annoyed by then but after I have gotten my package, I realized that the seller wasn't to blame for what wasn't showing on the tracking number.
In spite of having some issues with the shipping, overall I think the seller had good customer service skills and tried to do her part. Since this is the first occurrence and she handled it in a professional manner, I will consider ordering again in the future.
Now that I got that off my chest, let's move on to the haul...
I ordered the Blogger Review Pack, which consist of 5 eyeshadow samples, 1 primer sample, 2 lipgloss samples, and 5 lipstick samples. All for $4.25, which I thought was a pretty good deal! The catch is you must have a blog in order to be eligible for this package deal. I love sampling, especially if I've never tried the product before. The price is great and you get a good variety to try out and I also love that they come in these little pots that are also properly labeled, instead of baggies. Another great thing is that you can request the shades that you want :)
|Lipgloss samples: Wine & Dine and Fettish|
Yes, I requested blue lipsticks! LOL cause I'm weird like that and because I can.
And lastly, I ordered two liquid eyeliners in the shade Snow and Sapphire. Seller claims that these are waterproof and smudge resistant. 8ml tube for $7.22
Total cost $18.69 and shipping cost $2.00.
Seller offers quite a wide variety colors to choose from, which I think is worth a look (especially if you want a blue or green lipstick, hehehe). If want to place an order and you are ok with some processing and shipping delays, you can get 20% off your purchase by using coupon code FIRSTTIMER1.
I will review and swatch each category separately.
What do you think of these products? Do you order from people you never heard of before or you wait for reviews first? What's the worst thing that ever happened to an order you made?