52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : The ways in which I fit the cliche

Today, for the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge, I want to look at 42. The ways in which I fit the cliche.

Baby the Stars Shine Bright AdThis is sort of a hard one for me, because I’m not good at judging myself. I suppose, most of the time, I try to be nice and polite. I don’t drink, or smoke, and I rarely swear (if I’m swearing, be concerned and ask me what’s wrong because it usually means I’m stressed out beyond endurance). I like sweets, and cute things, and I like Victorian mannerisms and traditions.  I wear blouses and petticoats with my coords 90% of the time, and when I don’t it’s because it either looks better without a petticoat, or it’s an OP that doesn’t need a blouse, or I’ve traded in the blouse for a cardigan. I buy a fair bit of brand, and I “read” lolita publications (I read next to no Japanese, so this is the illiterate sort of reading where one oohs and aahs over the photographs), I wear makeup (though not as well as I could). I.. don’t know. I like to read, I like small fuzzy animals (in pictures, or outside, not on me), and I like to bake. I love making the things I cook look “pretty” by using cute molds or cutting or arranging things interestingly. I wear my hair with bangs and I like old fashioned things outside of lolita. I like poetry, and painting, and cute things.

It’s strange; I suppose, to be honest, I’m not 100% sure what the cliche really even is…

 

Review : Taobaoring – Neutral

I recently ordered two dresses, four blouses, some hair clips, and a bunch of shoes through taobaoring, and while I will be reviewing the items by shop later, I’d like to start with reviewing the shopping service as a whole. Please note that links in correspondences have been edited into linked words instead of the link typed out as text because the links are too long to fit neatly on my blog pages.

I created my account October 21st, 2012, and began to finalize my order. They have a shopping cart system where you can put items into your “cart” while you are figuring out what you want, which is nice. Once I’d added my items to the cart, they checked on things being available, and they commented. Here is where it started to get messy. Each item, under my comments, they replied, often with questions. I could not add a comment/answer there. In fact, the only place I could add a comment was in a bottom comment box. The comments I placed there were not ever answered.

On October 24th, 2012, they sent me my first invoice, and I paid the same day.

Here is a quick summery of my order:

Picture Description Price Qty. Delivery fee Total price Available Arrived
T18CVVXbtdXXa1v8IY_030413.jpg_310x310 别致蝴蝶结8007-淘宝网 16 ¥ 2 0 ¥ 32 ¥ yes yes
Remark Can they make a pair of red bows with pink hearts in the middle?

Reply yes, they can. It takes 7-10days for the seller to make the items.
T2VOaWXc4aXXXXXXXX_!!11942814 [Infanta.婴梵塔]LOLITA*权利与王座*军装风JSK 烫金四色入-淘宝网 448 ¥ 1 12 ¥ 448 ¥ yes yes
Remark Color: Red x Gold, Size: XL
T2mm8GXihNXXXXXXXX_!!87209185 表面咒语gothic Lolita定制店*审判日*哥特原创绣花女王长裙OP-淘宝网 525 ¥ 1 12 ¥ 525 ¥ yes yes
Remark Color: Navy Blue, Size: Custom Size (my bust = 95cm, waist = 75cm)

Reply it is XL. 162cm tall and dress is 106cm long.
blouse1 2012秋装新品 3501韩版 修身 职业 衬衣 女 长袖 大码 雪纺衬衫-淘宝网 59 ¥ 1 10 ¥ 59 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size: XXL, Color: Navy Blue
T2agdhXaJXXXXXXXXX_!!87209185 表面咒语gothic Lolita定制店 *蔷薇之冠*羽毛玫瑰发饰-淘宝网 45 ¥ 2 0 ¥ 90 ¥ yes yes
Remark Light Blue, Coffee Brown
T2lIJ4XeNXXXXXXXXX_!!87209185 表面咒语gothic Lolita定制店 三玫瑰发饰-淘宝网 35 ¥ 2 0 ¥ 70 ¥ yes yes
Remark Style: Comb, Color: 1 all Wine Red and 1 all Light Purple
2016-17 欧美英伦复古学院糖果娃娃鞋 甜美海军风蝴蝶结圆头漆皮女单鞋子-淘宝网 49 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 49 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size:39, Color: White
T2Hch2XXxXXXXXXXXX_!!675269713 艾尚臣2012秋装新款韩版OL职业装女装新品时尚上衣翻领衬衫长袖-tmall.com天猫 82.6 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 82.6 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size: XXL, Color: Red
T2sgdFXjNaXXXXXXXX_!!675269713 艾尚臣现货2012秋装新款韩版黑白色蝴蝶结雪纺衬衫女长袖OL热销-tmall.com天猫 88 ¥ 2 10 ¥ 176 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size: XXL Color: 1 black & 1 White
honey-shoes 甜美海军风学院风小清新雕花镂空小单鞋娃娃鞋小皮鞋T字丁字鞋T型-淘宝网 66.24 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 66.24 ¥ no after paid no
Remark Size:39, Color: Navy Blue
pink-shoes 2012新款甜美低跟鞋单鞋韩版蝴蝶结圆头女鞋大尺码四季鞋子[S056]-淘宝网 55 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 55 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size:40, Color: Pink
20120530222249664_750x750 包邮大码鞋 40 41 42 43 小码 31 32 33 低跟坡跟单鞋 YH-淘宝网 59 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 59 ¥ yes yes
Remark Size:40, Color: Orange
bows1 an*tai*na*流行LOLITA风格多用活动蝴蝶结多色-淘宝网 12 ¥ 2 0 ¥ 24 ¥ no no
Remark Can they make a pair of these in royal blue (not light blue)?
T2.CV2XdJXXXXXXXXX_!!48415403 an*tai*na*日本新款丝带靴 8011多色-淘宝网 288 ¥ 1 18 ¥ 288 ¥ yes yes
Remark Color: Black, Size: Japanese Size 25

Reply can you tell me your foot length?size 40 ,IS IT OK?
T2ECF2XoRXXXXXXXXX_!!48415403 an*tai*na*LOLITA甜美公主必备9988A-淘宝网 178 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 178 ¥ yes yes
Remark Color: Can they make these in Navy Blue?, Size: Japanese size 25

Reply can you tell me your foot length?size 40 ,IS IT OK? they can make navy blue like this color: http://img03.taobaocdn.com/bao/uploaded/i3/48415403/T2GINDXXlOXXXXXXXX_!!48415403.jpg_310x310.jpg

So, once I got those comments back, I wrote in their little message for taobaoring thing at the bottom of the order page

“Yes, size 40 is ok. I’m sorry, last time I bought from an*tai*na, the shoes were
listed in Japanese Sizes by the shopping service.

Does an*tai*na make any of their shoe clip bows in royal blue? I wasn’t sure which
ones can be made in custom colors and which couldn’t. I don’t really care which
style/shape clip on bow it is, I just was looking for a pair that is royal blue.”

Which, as far as I can tell was totally ignored.

on 10/25/2012 I got this email:

“Thanks for your payment for order TBR00412C00C6482 and we have paid to all
sellers.
For this dress Could you please tell us your height in cm? Also please tell
the dress length you want, from shoulder to the dress bottom. T
he seller wants to
know it to make the dress more perfect.”

and I replied 10/26/2012 with:

“I am 162cm tall.

For the dress length, maybe 106cm? I measured a dress I like the length of and
that is how long it was.”

and they replied:

“Thanks for the reply and we will inform the seller soon. :)”

later that day they emailed me:

“This seller called us and told only black 39 is available for the shoes, do you want to
change to black color or cancel it?

and I replied (same day)

“For this item Changing to black is ok, yes.”

the replied the next day with

“OK, then we will ask the seller to deliver black color.”

on 10/27/2012, after having not gotten a reply to my message in the message box still, I sent an email reply stating:

“I am not sure where to put the answer, but on the order form for
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=12439781435, someone wrote
“size 40 ,IS IT OK? they can make navy blue like this color

And I just wanted to make sure I let you know that, yes, Size 40 is ok, and
Yes that color is ok.”

and they sent back

“Thanks for your email. :)”

Some time ticks by… and finally, November 15th, 2012, I get an email stating:

For order TBR00412C00C6482, this seller called us just now, [item link] they have
waited for many
days, but still can not get the stock from factory, so she has
refunded
us the payment, and we will refund you 66.24 + 5.30 = 71.54 CNY.

December 6th 2012, I get an email saying my items have arrived:

Good news! Your items have arrived at our office safely. We have checked them carefully, and attached are photos for your convenient view. Once the second payment is done, we will ship them and you can track your parcel in your taobaoring account.

Order ID: TBR00412C00C6482
Shipping method: EMS
Weight: 5400 g
Total shipping fee: 544.5 ¥ / 88.21 $ (Standard EMS fee: 990 ¥ / 160.38 $)

for this one: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=14788959617 refund 66.24 + 5.30 = 71.54 CNY;

Total refund is 71.54 CNY, so you should paid: 544.5 – 71.54 = 472.96 CNY / 76.62 USD.

Please login at TaobaoRing.com and check your shopping cart to make the second payment.

You have made such a great choice, for your items looks so wonderful. Congratulations and thanks for shopping with us again!

So I check the photos and immediately notice a problem.TBR00412C00C6482-2 TBR00412C00C6482

Do you see it? I’ll give you a hint. Those sax shoes should be navy. So I wrote to them…

I’m very sorry, and I don’t mean to be troublesome, but in the picture you have of my order (http://www.taobaoring.com/photo/201210/TBR00412C00C6482.JPG) there is a pair of shoes at the bottom that are light blue (sax).

But on my order it says:

an*tai*na*LOLITA甜美公主必备9988A-淘宝网 178 ¥ 1 0 ¥ 178 ¥ yes yes
Remark Color: Can they make these in Navy Blue?, Size: Japanese size 25

Reply can you tell me your foot length?size 40 ,IS IT OK? they can make navy blue like this color: http://img03.taobaocdn.com/bao/uploaded/i3/48415403/T2GINDXXlOXXXXXXXX_!!48415403.jpg_310x310.jpg

The sample image that is in the reply shows a pair of dark blue (navy) shoes, which is what I wanted, but the shoes in the picture of my order are light blue instead? Did I do something wrong?

and they wrote back:

I checked your items again, it seems you are right, the shoes is light blue not you wanted(dark blue),
We’ll contact the seller this morning, if I get any news I’ll let you know :-)

and then again, on December 11th 2012:

Sorry for the late reply. For the shoes, we have negotiated with the seller, and they checked their records and found that they made the wrong color. They are very sorry and asked if you can accept the light blue color. If you want to change to navy blue, they can make another navy blue pair for you, but it will take about 5-6days for them to make it. Can you wait?


Please let us know if you will accept the light blue one or change for navy blue color?

and at this point, I’m worrying that I’m going to get charged to get them in the right color, so I’m being extra-super-polite:

Thank you so much for your help. ^_^ I can wait for dark blue, I am not in a rush. Please change for Navy Blue Color.

 

I am sorry to be so difficult. But, I already have 2 pairs of light blue shoes at home. They don’t match my dark blue dresses, so I can not accept light blue. I am sorry. :(

They responded with:

Please don’t say sorry, we understand your mood, so we have sent shoes back to the seller and wait him to exchange. have a nice day 😉

On Christmas Eve, I get this message:

Your shoes arrived at our office, please check the attachment. 😉

DSC06143

I emailed them back:

Those are perfect! Thank you so much!

and then they replied with:

Thanks for your reply. If the shoes is okay, we’ll pack it and email you the weight and shipping price soon. 😉

Times goes by, I don’t hear anything, eventually January 9th, 2013, I email them:

I know it’s been a holiday, and I don’t mean to be troublesome, but I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss an email from you? Our last email was on December 24th (see below), and I have not yet gotten an email with the updated shipping weight/price after the shoes were changed.

and they say:

We have packed your items and wait for your second payment a few days ago.
Anyway, we’ll resend the payment email again soon.
Have a nice day 😉

and follow up with:

Good news! Your items have arrived at our office safely. We have checked them carefully, and please login to your order to have a check of the photos. Once the second payment is done, we will ship them and you can track your parcel in your taobaoring account.
Order ID: TBR00412C00C6482
Shipping method: EMS
Weight: 5400 g
Total shipping fee: 544.5 ¥ / 88.21 $ (Standard EMS fee: 990 ¥ / 160.38 $)

for this one: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=14788959617 refund 66.24 + 5.30 = 71.54 CNY;

so total payment should be 544.5-71.54=472.96 CNY.

Kind reminder: the tracking information will be usually updated by international shipping company within 2-3days after we ship the parcels, so please be patient for it.

Please login at TaobaoRing.com and check your shopping cart to make the second payment.

You have made such a great choice, for your items looks so wonderful. Congratulations and thanks for shopping with us again!

I pay, and my items are shipped out January 11th, 2013, and arrive via EMS January 14th, 2013.

13 - 7When the items got here, most of them were as expected with a couple minor things. One, the black boots are a dark, dull  blue grey color that basically passes for navy, but would only pass for black if you were working in the dark. Especially when you combine it with the jet black ribbon they are laced up with. It’s rather disappointing; I actually wanted some black boots.  That small black thing on the bed is the cap to a sharpie that I found in the box. Thankfully, only the cap was in the box, not the marker, so there wasn’t any damage. I expect they have a dead marker now though…

 

Speaking of this box, it arrived in decent shape:

13 - 26

Inside, there was very little packing. There was a layer of thin bubble wrap and then a thin sheet of foam was wrapped around everything, and then each garment was in a cellophane bag. The shoes were paired and wrapped in very thin disposable cloth bags; the sort of gauze-like stuff that sometimes electronics some wrapped in inside their boxes. The shoe clips were just free in the box, and the flowers were just in plastic and buried under some shoes, so some of them were slightly bent. Beyond my free pen cap, there was also a pair of metalic silver rose hair clips tucked in for free (I assume from surface spell).

13 - 28 13 - 27

13 - 13 13 - 9

Because I had Oked the things, and they had already been sent to me, I didn’t contact them back about the shoes being the wrong color. However, it was rather bothersome, all in all.

Second Hand Sales Pricing & Manners

egl-comm-sales

I don’t buy from the EGL Comm Sales as much as I do from Mbok for a few reasons. Mostly, it’s just because I tend to find what I want on Mbok for a good price more often, since things going for a really good price on the Comm Sales tend to go quicker due to a lower market saturation than in Japan. That said, I have noticed a few things that make me shake my head a little.

paypal_logo

To start with, paypal fees. Yes, paypal charges you a fee. Yes, that cuts into your profit. No, you can not charge the buyer the fee as a paypal fee. I say this for three reasons:

  1. It’s a direct violation of the Pay Pal TOS.
  2. It’s rude; no one likes surprise fees
  3. It’s deceptive; the price you list should be the price you plan charge.
  4. It sets a negative starting tone to the transaction.

Paypal is a business, and the fee is you paying for their services. As a seller, this is an expense to you, but, like other expenses, it should be rolled into the price you are charging for an item. If you absolutely can’t risk estimating the fee on the shipping, calculate the local shipping and include it and the fee in your price, then round up the price to an even number. If you are very nervous, you can add a dollar or two. Record your base price, shipping and fees in a spreadsheet or private journal entry. Then, if, you have to ship internationally, to give a price quote, the formula would be:

New Fee = ((Base Price + International Shipping) * fee percentage )
Additional Shipping = International Shipping + New Fee – Domestic Shipping – Old Fee

If you are re-selling a new item and trying to make back what you spent and the item is not sold out, you have a couple options. If the item was somewhat inexpensive (bodyline, taobao, etc) you can try listing it on ebay; calculate the ebay fees and include those in your price as well. If it was a more valuable item, you have a couple choices. One, if you think the item will sell out, you can hold onto it and sell it then, or two you can try to trade it for something else with the same value.

But pricing it with a hidden fee will only cause a buyer to resent you, or worse, cancel the transaction once you send the invoice.

If you absolutely must add a fee, call it a handling fee and state what it is upfront. This might be necessary if you are giving something away (buyer just pays shipping), for example. But otherwise, by all means, roll it into your price and be done with it instead of making your buyers grumpy and violating paypal’s terms!

1279051_gift

On that same note, I have a gripe with gift payments. First of all, that phrase shouldn’t exist. Sending money as a payment on paypal should never be a “gift”.  It’s not, in any sense of the word, a gift, if you are paying someone for an item. This is also against paypal’s terms. Not only that, it’s risky. Paypal allows for the gift payment type for instances where someone is literally giving a gift of money to someone else. For example, if someone’s daughter got stranded because she missed her flight and couldn’t afford to buy another ticket, or if someone wanted to give a friend who was far away $20 for their birthday. Paypal basically gives the service away in those instances because they are being nice. It’s not something they are obligated to do.

They do it to build a relationship with the customer so that when those people go to buy or sell things, they will consider using paypal when it’s not free. So, when you try to trick paypal into making your non-gift transaction into a free one, you are basically stealing the service they are offering. Of course, most people don’t care as long as they are getting a discount, and if they aren’t caught will keep doing it.

Why stop, right? Well, if the moral reason doesn’t change your mind about gift payments, then here is the critical bit; if you have a bad transaction, you can’t get any protection from paypal if things go sour with a gift payment. So, if you make a gift payment, and the seller never sends the item, or they send it an it’s not as described, you are out of luck. Unless your credit card or bank steps up (and then you are going to have to explain to them that you broke paypal’s terms) you have no way of getting your money back short of going to the police. That tiny little percentage is your insurance that if this seller is a rotten apple, you will still be ok. Bottom line, unless you are really sending a friend a gift, don’t send the payment as a gift.

stain

Also, inspect your items. Take the fabric in your hands, under a bright light, and move the fabric through your hands and really look at it. Look at the whole garment. Turn it inside out and look again. Look at the seams, check the buttons to see if they are all there, and that they aren’t loose. Check that the zipper works. Pull up the stock photo on lolibrary (If it’s a brand item, and it’s not there, message me on lolibrary and I will figure out what your item’s name and date is and most likely find you a stock photo, if you want!) and compare your item to the stock photo to make sure you have things like detachable bows, sashes and waist ties included. There is no excuse for sending out an item that has a large conspicuous mark on it without telling the buyer first. They will be a lot more understanding if you go to them and say “look, I was looking this over as I was packing it up, and I noticed a stain”, then if they find it themselves later. Besides, if they decide to return it to you for a refund, shipping to and from them is almost always going to be more than what you would discount the item for because of the mark!

1279274_fragile_parcel

Lastly, pack your items safely (include a layer of plastic in case it gets wet!) and don’t ask for packages to be marked down, or mark down packages that are going to be insured. Ideally, I’d say never do it, as it’s illegal, and unless you are in protest of your countries taxes and not paying them at all, then it’s your duty as a good citizen to pay the customs fees that you might be charged. If you disagree with the fee, and you live somewhere where citizens can have opinions about such things, write to a local politician expressing your concerns and making a suggestion on the matter. Either way, in most countries, customs fees are one of the government’s sources of income, and like taxes, and other sources of revenue, they go towards the services that are provided to the people, as well as the daily operations of the government. But I digress; the point is, if you mark down a package that you have insured, you limit how much you can collect in insurance if the package is damaged. For longer or cheaper shipping options, this is even worse, because the chance of the package being damaged in transit is higher.

All in all, don’t try to trick people into buying things and don’t cut corners to save a couple bucks at the risk of losing your legal protection.