I'm sure many of you have heard of or have even been approached by sunglasses companies claiming they "love your content and would love to have you on their team as a brand ambassador". It sounds amazing and some would jump at the chance of being "sponsored", but let me tell you guys... it's not exactly what it seems.
I was recently approached by ilymix saying they'll provide me anywhere between 1-3 sunglasses in exchange for two posts on Instagram.
Most of the time, I get these companies messaging me on my instagram posts. This was the first time a company had reached out to me via my e-mail for a collaboration. Although... it ended up on my "promotions" tab in my gmail. That should have been red flag number one.
I scrolled through the e-mail and thought I would have to throw it out when a line at the bottom caught my eye.
I thought, SWEET! Okay maybe this one is legit.... maybe.... Oh well. I thought I'd check it out anyways.
I jumped over to their site, curious and wary. I looked at their site design and selections, and it all looks pretty good. Their selection of sunglasses are similar to those you'd see from ChicNYC, Chic Wish List, and Mirina Collections. Suspicious, I looked up their hashtags on Instagram and did a quick Google search of their brand.
There were definitely a few hits on Google and plenty of brand hashtags on Instagram. I read through several blogs from other micro-influencers who were contacted for a collaboration with the company and so far so good. There were plenty of satisfied ambassadors, and there was even one on Youtube who said that the quality you get is exactly what you paid for.
With my suspicions assuaged, I went ahead and started browsing through their products. After all, I was going to get them for free, right?
As soon as I was ready to check out my order, I was stamped with a $30.00 shipping fee. I thought, you know what? I'm getting three sunglasses anyways, that's $10.00 per sunglasses, and I haven't seen any reviews anywhere about anybody not getting their products from these guys. Why not. I placed my order and was given a discount code to pass out to my followers. $15.00 off of anything on their website.
The problem was.... the discount code they gave me used my full name. No doubt from the credit card I used to purchase the sunglasses with. I sent them an e-mail asking if they can change my discount code just so it can better reflect my brand.
Not even a "No, sorry, that's what you're stuck with."
I thought I would give it some time and see if anybody would respond.
Now, during this time I was promoted to full time at work and I ended up getting really busy trying to juggle life outside of the office, and I wound up forgetting about the purchase for some time... until I hit 1000 followers on Instagram.
I was immediately reminded of the sunglasses purchase I made several weeks ago and looked up the tracking number. Turns out, the package was coming from China and it was NOWHERE near me. Disappointed, I thought maybe because it was the weekend, the tracking hadn't updated. I checked again during the next week and still no change to the shipping information.
I thought that I would reach out again just to test how responsive these guys were and ask about changing my discount code one more time before I shot them an e-mail asking about my package.
Again... no response.
My package did finally arrive a few days after I sent the last e-mail... but it took a total of 30 days to get to me. This is what it says on their website.
So they don't have a responsive customer service team, their shipping times are COMPLETELY off... but maybe their sunglasses really are worth the wait.
Here are a few photos of me unboxing the package.
It came in a cute standard little box that had ilymix stamped on the top of it. Okay, cute.
The inside had little bits of shreded crinkled paper that padded the sunglasses underneath.
Each sunglasses was enclosed in this nice matte plastic wrap.
And I thought, you know, maybe it isn't so bad after all. I quickly unwrapped the two I purchased for myself and my sister and looked them over, they seem fine. I haven't tested their wear over a long period of time, but they've held up in my bag. There is, however, a bit of scratching on the metal of this baby. No big deal.
The back of the sunglasses with their out handles.
I wanted to check and see if I could get them on Amazon. Sure enough, a quick amazon search of "double frame sunglasses" and found similar (and eventually the same) circle sunglasses for anywhere between $8.00 - $15.00. The Bangu Sunglasses, however, I wasn't able to find.
Regardless, that's a pretty big price markup.
Overall, I probably wouldn't recommend purchasing from these guys. At the end of the day, their customer service is unresponsive and their shipping times are COMPLETELY off (so if you lose your package... or if ANYTHING at all happens to your order... don't expect them to get back to you). Also, they have the $15.00 off of any item deal going on with their website now, so that deal isn't exclusive to give out for brand ambassadors, and makes me think that nothing on their website is actually worth the price they are selling it for.
Hope this has helped you guys out some, happy shopping lovelies!!