Friday, August 20, 2010

Review: Shoe & Bag Haul (pic heavy)

Hey everyone! I was contacted by AKA Lovely Fashion awhile ago to see if I'd like to particiapte in their affiliate program. For those of you who haven't heard of them before, they are a company which sells "Made in China" shoes and bags at wholesale prices. I was a little hesitant because I had heard quite a few less-than-thrilled reviews about inconsistencies in their quality, packing, shipping, and customer service. So I decided that I would make an order of my own so I could judge the quality and service for myself. And I am pleased to report that my experience with Lovely Fashion was a great one and I would not hesitate to order from them again :)

I ordered 2 pairs of flats, 1 pair of wedges, 1 pair of boots, and 2 bags so I could have some variety. One of the items I origianlly wanted was out of stock (even though it went through when I placed the order), but I was in contact with a customer service rep the entire time and was easily able to switch items. I was kept informed of my order status throughout the entire ordering process. The reps were all very helpful and accommodating (despite the Engrish! :P). It does take a few days for them to process your order (collecting all the items that you want from different suppliers) and can take longer if some of your items were out of stock and you choose new ones.

Shipping is both good and bad. Because shoes and bags are quite heavy and take up a lot of space, shipping ends up being expensive -- sometimes, almost as much as the total of the items you order. While it does seem a bit disappointing when you see the shipping cost, it actually is fair because the shoes and bags are only around $8-15, so, when the shipping is factored in, it's like you're paying, say $15-17 per shoe... which is great compared to how much shoes normally cost at someplace like Macy's. I've bought regular Roxy slippers from there for over $20 and the quality is just as good as from Lovelyshoes. The good part about the shipping is that I went through UPS, and my package got to me (Hawaii) from China in SIX DAYS. I thought it would take like... a month. So I was VERY pleased with how quickly it got here :)

My order came stuffed in a small, thoroughly taped up box. I had heard often that the shoes come squished out of shape, sometimes with rhinestones and such falling off, or fabric creasing. I was a little worried about that.

Each shoe was individually wrapped in plastic and neatly stacked on top of each other. The bags were also wrapped in plastic (not shown in the picture below). For me, everything came intact. Nothing missing, falling apart, creased, etc! Everything was kind of squished, but easily straightened out. The rhinestones on the pair of flats in the top right of the picture below were even wrapped up in tissue paper -- a thoughtful touch.

I got all the shoes in size 36, which is equivalent to a size 5.5 -- I usually run anywhere from size 5, 5.5, or 6, depending on the type of shoe / brand. 36 fits me pretty well. All the shoes fit perfectly except for the wedges, which were just a teeny tiny bit too big.

Another thing to note, once the box was opened, there was a really strong chemical scent. It was mostly from the bags, rather than the shoes, but they all needed to be aired out for the smell to fade.

And here's what I got!

2010 hot demanded star models of Roman style low-heeled plus size women’s sandals Z-XSD-318 (lol, what is up with the name?!)

Stock picture from the website:
What they look like in real life:

What they look like on:

Overall: 4/5 -- I like these flats a lot! I chose them because they were unique looking (to me) and are totally different from anything I currently own. The back is zippered so you can easily slip your feet in. I think they look pretty much exactly like the stock picture and are very comfortable. The only thing is that the bottom of the flats is uneven... like... not totally FLAT. So they kind of rock from side to side. But it doesn't affect my ability to walk in them at all. It just feels kind of weird if you're standing still :P

Chief cute flower diamond decoration flat heel slippers
Z-WLY-B-6 rice

Stock picture from the website:

What they look like in real life:

What they look like on:

Overall: 4/5 -- These flats also look pretty much just like the stock picture. They are super cute and also a unique style to me. The only "flaw" was that the rhinestone strips are noticeably crooked... not perfectly centered on the strap. However, all the rhinestones were intact and none fell off. Also, these flats are really rigid... the soles don't bend or flex at all, so they are a tad uncomfortable at first. I did wear them all day yesterday though, so they just take some getting used to.

Lovely bowknot decoratived boots
QZ-MY08 black

Stock picture from the website:

What they look like in real life:

What they look like on:

Overall: 4.5/5
-- I really wanted to get these boots because I thought they were just too cute! I've only had one pair of boots before these, believe it or not. Well, I mean, where and why would I need to wear boots in Hawaii anyway? :P But they're adorable and I've been wanting me some cute ankle boots for awhile now. They're made out of a cheapy suede material which will probably become really gross if they come in contact with water and looks like it can get dirty easily. But other than that, they are solid black (flash washed out the first picture) and look exactly like in the product picture. They fit perfectly and are super comfortable. The bow decoration in the back is perfect and looks just like in the stock picture too. There is a little bit of visible glue attaching the heel to the boot itself, but I only took off .5 for that because it's not visible unless you're looking at the bottom of the boots.

Wedges QZ- WLY888-1 white

Stock picture from the website:
What they look like in real life:

What they look like on:

Overall: 4/5 -- Most of you know that I pretty much never wear heels anymore because of falling down a few more times than I'd like to admit :P But I still drool over heels all the time. Other than heels, I love wedges. But still, not HIGH ones. These wedges are the perfect height for me... about 2 inches, so I don't feel like I'm going to be tripping in them. I thought they were going to be solid white, but they are this kind of silvery metallic white color. Still, from afar, they look white. They are super adorable with the bows, however, the size of one of the bows is uneven (no biggie, because they still look like the stock picture). Also, these shoes had the most imperfections, they were several marks on the back of the shoes (small marks, but still marks nonetheless). They are also a TEENY TINY bit too big. I still can walk in them though and they are very comfortable, but if I had to walk really fast, my heel would probably slip out of the shoe.

And now, on to the bags! First thing I wanted to note is that they bags are made out of what I think is faux-leather... pleather? It is very soft and doesn't hold the shape of the bag very well. Also, the bags have a slick, almost oily feeling on the surface... dunno what's up with that :S I've been airing them out for the past few days and the chemical smell and slick surface are starting to dissipate... but I think they'll take quite some time more before they stop smelling entirely.

R491 Sweet bowknot square bag

Stock picture from the website:

What it looks like in real life:

Overall: 3/5
-- I had originally wanted this bag in black, but it was out of stock so I chose brown. As you can see, the color is quite different from the stock picture. Don't get me wrong, it's still a nice taupe shade; but it's just not like in the picture. For the most part, the bag itself does look pretty much exactly like the stock picture. It's just that the material is so super soft that the bag won't hold its shape like in the stock picture (unless that bag is stuffed). Also, the print on the inside lining of the bag is blue in real life. In the stock pic on the website, it looks more dark gray to me. Still, it is a nice, roomy bag with pockets on the inside and outside. The last "flaw" I wanted to note is that the braided handles are inconsistent. One strap's braid really tight, and the other is loose; making the handles slightly different lengths -- Not terribly noticeable from afar, but still bothered me a bit.

Lovely fashion Bow diagonal belt bag
L513 M

Stock picture from the website:
What it looks like in real life:

Overall: 4/5 -- This bag pretty much looks just like the stock picture, except the bow on my bag is not as tight as in the stock picture. It's still very cute and roomy though. And pink pattern interior! Pink = always a plus. Very cute. Not much else to say about this one... I love how it looks. If only it wasn't for the strong smell and slick feeling of these bags, I would have liked them a lot more and worn them right away :(

The last few things I wanted to note before summing up my shopping experience with were some things I learned while keeping in contact with a customer service rep:
  • They have recently cut back on some of their suppliers due to quality problems. Maybe this explains why some people in the past had poorer quality items? I was quite satisfied with mine.
  • They are working on improving packing methods in order to pack the shoes better for the same shipping cost. International shipping is very expensive, but they are trying their best to keep the cost as low as possible while still safely packing your order.
  • There is no longer a minimum order amount. Maybe if you've visited the website in the past, you would have seen that you had to purchase a certain amount or else pay higher shipping costs for less pairs of shoes. Now, you can buy however many items you want at all wholesale prices.
I really do believe that they have been doing their best to improve the shopping experience with their customers. I honestly thought I might end up being disappointed because I had heard about other people's bad experiences in the past. But it was the exact opposite -- I was very pleased and happy with my order -- which leads me to believe that they really are following through with all the things they told me because I had MINIMAL problems with quality, fit, and the way my order was shipped.

To sum everything up:
  • Their customer service is very helpful and accommodating. They do write in "Engrish" though it is not hard to understand :P
  • They keep in constant contact with you to update you with the status of your order.
  • It takes a few days for them to process your order.
  • If there are out of stock items in your order, they will email you and you can have the option to choose another item or get a refund for the OOS item.
  • Shipping through UPS can seem pricey, but is actually fair AND fast.
  • Shoes are packed neatly, though only in plastic wrapping. Rhinestones and delicate detailing will be wrapped in tissue paper to prevent falling off.
  • Great wholesale prices. Very affordable yet the quality is still good.
  • Shoes/bags have a strong chemical smell that fades.
  • "Leather" bags can have a slick, oily feeling and stronger smell than shoes.
  • Shoe and bag quality is generally very good, inconsistencies were minimal.
  • Sizing equivalent is accurate and actual shoes do look nearly identical to the stock picture.
  • Most shoes were comfortable or easy to get used to.
  • Nothing was missing or ripped or falling apart or dirty, etc.

The Rundown:

Bare minimum, but sturdy and safe enough, keeps the price of shipping as low as possible.

Despite the strong smell and weird feeling of the bags, the items I ordered were all nearly identical to the stock photos and had minimal flaws. Shoes were comfortable and/or easy to get used to.

Wholesale prices -- very affordable. Shipping seems high but in reality, it's like you're paying $15-17 per shoe which is fair.

I would not hesitate to order from them in the future :)
click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

I hope this post will be helpful if you've been interested in ordering from but was unsure if it would be worth it or not. I think the best idea is to try to pick styles of shoes that are unique to you or you think you wouldn't be able to get in the USA. I think to get your money's worth, it's best to buy different types of shoes (flats, heels, wedges, boots, etc.) and bags so you can see the differences in quality and which kinds you like best. While the product pictures are probably taken from Japanese/Korean fashion websites, the actual shoes themselves are pretty darn identical to the stock photos and the quality is rather good. However, the color, especially, can be quite different so don't expect EVERYTHING to be perfect -- Remember to take the wholesale pricing into consideration.

Here are some other reviews of which I found particularly helpful before I made my order :)

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