|Subscription|: Fraud Glam Bag - High Alert!!!12:55 AM
The picture above shows what I received in my November Glam Bag. By looking at the quantity of products, the initial impression one gets is oh look this many number of products in this price, thats not bad. But when you look at the prices of the products and the actual products it leaves you simmering as to how beautifully you have been fooled. Let me explain the fooling process further.
Moving on to the next item, you see this Makeup Revolution Ultra brightening and contour kit. This kit is priced at £ 3.50 and is being sold in pakistan for Rs. 750. Its readily available online and at makeup Revolution kiosks.
So I am basically a loser when it comes to subscription services. I absolutely adore the idea of surprising myself with unknown goodies. Its like a gift to myself not knowing what I am going to end up with. Some experiences have been good and some have been bad and then there is one which is simply worse. Today I get to share with you the worst experience of mine with a subscription service.
|Bosy Glam bag - November|
|Bosy Glam Bag - November|
As much as it pleases me to see how vigorously the beauty trends are changing in Pakistan and how the market dynamics are shifting more towards online shopping and availability of international brands along with brand awareness amongst consumers, it saddens me to see how some people are taking advantage of this trend and making a fool out of people. Previously in September I tried my first Glam Bag from Brand Empires which is actually an online Instagram store that also introduced its monthly subscription services. All the details about Glam Bag can be accessed by clicking on this link and reading my earlier post. As much as I was aware of all products being drug store in the September bag, I felt soothed to see the size of the products, moreover the price of the bag was also pretty much justifiable. However when I subscribed again for the November bag what I received was beyond disappointing. In plain terms I would classify it as A class crap.
|Drug store items of November Boxy Glam bag|
I was initially very glad to receive the Glam Bag with a nice white pouch and this many products. When I calculated the prices of individual items I could not comprehend how this subscription bag was even worthy of the amount I paid. This bag cost me Rs. 4500 that too as afavor that I am getting it for Rs. 4500 because I am a blogger, otherwise its for Rs. 5000. You see the aromatherapy products below, these are actually sample sized products which one gets to use free when one stays at hotels. These are readily placed and replaced in your hotel rooms. When I had an argument upon these items, the seller was very adamant that she purchased them and these aren't cheap. I spent a good amount of time googling them but simply could not come up with any images for these or a place where one can actually buy them from. Now I thought maybe my googling skills are not upto par. When I posted image of this Glam Bag on my facebook profile and asked people about its worth, I received the exact same comments and one blogger was good enough to actually google these aromatherapy products on her own and came up with the same conclusion that these are hotel customized and not available for sale. In short these are either left overs which were included in my Glam Bag not required by the seller or were simply collected by the seller at a hotel so that she could sell them and earn some nice juicy bucks out of these freebies. Nice!
|Aromatherapy shampoo, conditioner and moisturising lotion|
|Makeup Revolution Ultra brightening contour palette|
Garnier Micellar cleansing water, probably the only item which made a little sense to me. Good thing is, its a travel size of 125 ml and is imported. I have the local version of bigger bottle available with me (250 ml) but I do want to try out this imported version to test if there is any difference between the formulation or performance of the two. The 125 ml bottle is priced at £ 1.99 and on sale it goes to £ 1.25. So if the 250 ml bottle is being sold at Rs. 400 then the 125 ml stand around 200 maybe.
|Garnier on the go micellar water|
Moreover the bag containes Primark lashes, which look super fake and are priced between £1 to £3, Makeup Revolution amazing volume mascara priced at £ 3.60, Natural Collection concealer which is £1.99 and a super tiny Bobbi Brown lip gloss which comes in a set maybe and values around £5 as per the seller. When I had spoken to the owner of Brands Empire initially after receiving my first Glam bag, she mentioned placing items in the Glam Bag which are high end. I have been blogging for good 7 years now and the definition of a high end product according to this woman was something I was hearing for the very first time. So a high end product for her is something which is high in demand, is a value product and not readily available (immediately sold as soon as its stocked). I fail to see how any of the items is high end even as per her definition. All these products are drug store cheap, readily available and not even high in demand. I would stay the demand is steady but definitely not hype worthy or crazy. Ladies you may throw out your Benefit, Urban Decay and Nars coz apparently we have all been wrong about the definition of HIGH END PRODUCTS. Its time to leave the planet.
|Primark flase lashes, MUR amazing volume mascara, Natural collection concealer, Bobbi Brown lip gloss|
Lastly I got this Super drug tea tree face mask, two samples for a cream and lotion (there was already an Aromatherapy lotion already included) and a travel pack containing 4 cotton pads, 2 ear buds and a nail file. Embarassing, sheer embarassment. I don't know what the seller was thinking including these items. Such a waste of space and lack of respect. At this point I seriously do not know what to say further. Simply disappointing.
|Superdrug tea tree deep cleansing mud mask|
So this is not just it. Now we are at the stage where the shit actually hit the fan. When I received this Glam Bag I made booking for the December one as well since I was told that I would be getting amazing products in December in a Marc Jacobs pouch with Kylie lip pencil in it and some jewllwey items and even a mention of then newly released MUR Banana powder and lastly a Benefit Ka brow. When I calculated the prices of the November bag's items I was totally conflicted. I felt so cheated and conned and I decided to consult my fellow bloggers. They had the exact same observations as me and I decided to contact the seller to sort it out. I hashed out everything to the seller and based on her responses I am going to write further this blog post.
According to her break up the Aromatherapy products cost her around Rs. 700 which we have already established are actually picked up during a hotel stay somewhere. Next as per her, the MUR palette is for Rs. 650 which isn't available in Pakistan and she is bringing unique brands and items not readily available. The seller clearly has not done her homework. The brand itself is officially available online in Pakistan and so is the palette. Next comes the mascara which as per her is for Rs. 350. The Superdrug mask is for Rs. 200, Lashes Rs. 300, makeup bag Rs. 900, Garnier Micellar water Rs. 250, the aloe sachets Rs. 350 (which by the way is a freebie and must have come with some other purchase) and Concealer Rs. 500. The TCS charges included are Rs. 280 and International shipping is £9. All these prices are seller quoted and exist with me on whatsapp chat.
Her justification for the prices is that if individually purchased with shipment and custom charges added the items end up priced way higher which means the total value is more than Rs. 4500. I don't know how this woman ended up with the idea of starting a subscription service. Its probably to make a fool out of people or to con them. The global idea of any subscription service is that the consumer pays price less than what he actually ends up getting inclusive of shipment and every other cost. How is it any value for me if the products are worth Rs. 2000 maximum and I am paying Rs. 4500 for this crap? Even her argument is stupid. With collective buying you pay shipment and custom charges once on collective weight or value of items. One soes not calculate each on item basis.
She compares her subscription service to International subscription service model and not sub services existing in Pakistan. I mean, Really? How are you any different? You are doing things pretty much the same way as others are doing, with the only difference being they are doing it way better than you, like miles better. Now coming back to the story of December Glam Bag, 3 different pictures with different items were shared with me that these would be the probable items of my December Glam Bag.
Now these pictures came in way after my committment. What I see is the ka brow is sample sized which again comes as a freebie and I already had it with me as a free item on purchase of some products online. She failed to mention that Ka Brow would be a tiny sample sized product. Her bragging led me to believe that my Rs. 5500 bag would contain a full sized Ka Brow (sue me for dreaming big). One day I get informed that she is unwell and shipping the items to Islamabad to her sister and she will be the one who will dispatch them to me after payment. The very next day she informs me that her sister has shipped my Glam Bag along with others without me making my pre payment and when her sister went for the cancellation of the order it couldn't be done since TCS had already dispatched it. I fail to see how the bag reached Islamabad and then enrouted to Lahore within 24 hours. TCS was probably high on some super performance drugs. After this incident, the very next morning around 6.30 am I receive voice messages that she has called up TCS and changed the shipment address from my place to Lahore Marriott. Now I am like, What the Falooda is even going on? Where is Marriott in Lahore? Then she goes on telling me that I can pick up my Glam Bag from Marriott by paying the charges at reception and I should be done with this within 3 to 4 days as the package would be sent back and she will have to bear losses on account of failed delivery. The instructions sounded very shady to me as to why a package sent via TCS landed at Marriott and who would I be making the payment there? Further she mentions that I can either pick it up from Marriott (which by the way doesnt exist in Lahore as yet) or from the airport upon cash on pick up basis. The airport is good 40 to 50 mins drive away from my house and why would I burn my fuel and get into the hassle of driving this far in the fisrt place? When I told her all this she comes up with the lamest answer in the history of mankind. Wanna know what? She said "I though cash on pick up would be more convenient option" Seriously? Did you even ask me in the first place? How did you even come up with this assumption? When I probed further she said the package is at the airport with a girl who deals in Marriott customer care. Ding Ding Ding!!! Probably thats how she got hold of those Aromatherapy free bottles. I was completely bamboozled at this stage. Her statements were constantly changing and making little or no sense at all making my warning bells clash higher and higher. When I refused to buy the Glam bag, the conversation came to a point where she reduced the price to Rs. 4000 from Rs. 5500 and fianlly Rs. 3500. Would it have been a wise purchase at this rate? I say no! One, she conned me with the November bag robbing me of my money and delivering crappy products in return. Secondly she kept lying and changing her stance and thirdly even at Rs. 3500 I was at a loss considering the contents of the bag.
I know this post has gotten way long and many of you might even stop reading it midway but as a blogger I consider it my foremost priority to warn all of you from unwise choices. The final decision off course rests in your hands. I only share my opinion to warn you before hand. I would encourage all my fellow bloggers to share this post so that more and more of our community becomes aware of these fraudulent people who are robbing people of their hard earned money. The instagram can be accessed by clicking on this link. Please feel free to share your feedback with me. Stay healthy and beautiful. xoxo!!!