Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No China Direct for Me

So... its confession time.  I had to wait a few weeks (ok, months) before I told this story, it was just TOO FRESH and TOO REAL for me to tell before I got to the very end.  In several moments of insanity, I decided to save my bridesmaids money, and have their dresses ordered from China.  From the first attempt that my buddy, Sssh... and I went out to look at dresses, my eyes fell on this dress that was just adorable.  Bari Jay #108.  It was a one-shoulder display of Japanese-inspired, kimono like wonderfulness.  But, I had a few reservations about ordering from Bari Jay.  Their color wheel was not as diverse as I wanted it to be, the sizes of the dresses stopped lower than I needed them to, etc.  So, thanks to the power of Google, when I was searching for the dress online to share with some pals, I kept coming across a few sites that were not Bari Jay, yet they had the dress.  At first, I did not understand, but before long, I caught on.  OH... you're ordering them direct from the maker, bypassing that brand name mark-up.  SWEET!

In the store, the dress would have been around $160.  Given that there were 2 other weddings coming down the pike, I'm all for helping folks save some cash, so I went with the one that was going to allow us to purchase the dress for $57 (free shipping thrown in).  I liked the dress so much, I decided that I would get one as well, never know when a girl wants a night out on the town with her new hubby in a one-sleeve kimono inspired dress, right?  I had everyone to take her measurements (they were custom-making them based on size, great right?) to send to me, then I placed the order.  Now, I did have a few concerns about the communication efforts of the person that I had to communicate with on-line, but considering that I have to figure out a way to decipher what some FB friends are saying, I figured that it would be no different.  Hmm...

So, I am compiling a list of sorts to share the highlights of my experience:
Chinese New Year - When I placed the order, it was RIGHT when the best holiday in ALL the world was about to be set off.  While I've never been there, I suppose that Chinese New Year must be sort of like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter & Mother's Day all wrapped into one.  Like - it is a HUGE deal.  They SHUT DOWN at that time.  They shut down in order to start getting ready for it, then they celebrate it, and after that - I suppose that they have to recover.  I couldn't imagine, I don't think that I ever want to witness all of what goes on.  So, my order got no attention once I placed it, they were Chinese New Yearing...

Communication - I really appreciate having some strong mastery of the English language.  I prefer if the person that I am dealing with for business has the same.  As a matter of fact, I think that I am going to start to insist upon it.  I would write an email asking 3-4 questions that required direct responses.  The response would be something like - yes, yes... we will make it VERY beautiful for you.  WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH WHAT I ASKED???  Yes, that should have been a clue, but...

Reviews - WHY didn't I read all of the reviews that I read AFTER this ordeal before I placed the order?  I know that I read some, but where were any of the reviews warning me that this was a dumb idea?  I found them all AFTER the fact!  Also, with a blog website that they have specifically dedicated to offset the folks who complain.  Amazingly, the folks who write the blog speak proper English!  WHAT??? 

Quality - Consistenly through the process of considering the order (I started in December) until the time that the dress was to be returned (late Feb, early March) - it was consistenly told that I would get a 'very nice' dress.  What I received in the mail was 'very horrible'.  While it had the spirit of the dress that was intended, it was a long ways off.  The material was fine, but the stitching looked like a 'C' student who was doing special favors for the Home Ed teacher completed it.  The measurements were off and did not seem to be symetrical at all.  If worn, the bridesmaids were not going to be allowed to sit down for fear that Uncle Pete's pacemaker would skip a beat from the eyeful that he received!

Response - Luckily, my fiance was there when the dresses arrived.  I was so excited, I left work a little early to see the dresses and as soon as I picked my jaw off of the floor, went online to promptly 'dispute' the dresses.  Based on responses from others, had I not done it that quickly, the funds would have gone through DH Gate to the seller & I would have been out of luck.  I immediately responded to the seller that the dresses sucked and I wanted a refund.  They responded that they would give me $30.  $30 per dress?  I respond back, I'll take $500.  They come back with $50.  Oh... they meant $30 total.  I went down a little more, they went down to $100 and asked me to 'feel sorry for us, the dress was mostly like what I wanted'.  At this point, I am livid!  I ended up escalating the issue to DH Gate, they had a half of an English class more than the seller (but went home sick before it was over) and in the end, got the majority of my cash returned in lieu of returning the package and risking their threat of customs seizing it or my real fear - them pretending that it never came. 

I'll take an intermediary when I deal with China the next time.  The only contact that I think that I'll want with them is the little tag on the bottom of the product that says 'Made in China'...

*YES, we do have other dresses, I'll tell you about those later, my blood pressure increased just thinking about this whole bit of nonsense and I need a nap!


  1. omgosh! i can't believe that happened to you! that sounds awful! i'm so sorry you had to deal with that and the fact that they didn't even want to give you your money back. i dont mean to cuss, but that is some bull sh.. lol. glad you got new dresses though

  2. I toyed with the idea of ordering from China, but there are way too many mixed reviews out there. I'm sorry about your ordeal!

  3. I also thought about ordering from China, and like Miss Tattoo, I was a little nervous about the mixed reviews...
    Sorry to hear about this added stress:/ At least you'll still have dresses! Lesson learned, and I know that this will help other brides as well.

  4. I wish we knew who the seller was and I wish you could post a pic of the "very horrible" dresses.