23 July 2012

R's experience with flatironexperts.com (Spoiler: It's good. And not sponsored.)

Sorry kids, no pictures in this post.  Just me yappin' away.

So, as M and I have said over and over again, our blog is not and has not been sponsored by any person, thing, or company.  In fact, I would be (pleasantly) surprised if we ever do.  Nor do either of us work in the beauty industry.  Far from it, actually.  We are just regular Joe-Schmoe-Plain-Jane consumers.

When it comes to online shopping, I only do so at major retailers as I have experienced my share of credit card fraud headaches. 

The reason I happened upon flat iron experts (again, not an affiliated link) was because my very picky mother was pining for a small, round brush with a wooden handle.  Did you know that this is very hard to find?  So I took to the internets, and one of the websites that good ol' googly provided was FIE.  I recalled having watched several of JLovesMac1's videos from a couple of years ago, in which she mentioned FIE.  I paid no heed to it and dismissed it as another sponsored video.  But in a desperate desire to realize my dear mommy's wish, I decided to take the risk and make a purchase from this website. 

I did not have any dealings with the people over at FIE, but I was extremely impressed by the swift processing and shipment of my order such that I have no hesitation ordering from their site again. 

- Lightning-fast shipping
I placed my order a day before the long weekend.  I received an email 3 days later that my order had been shipped (ie. the day after the long weekend).  It was in my hands the next day.  Had there not been a long weekend in between, everything would have happened in 2 days.  Colour me impressed.

I wish their threshold for free shipping ($50) was lower, but if you are on the website looking for flatirons, hairdryers, and what not (as opposed to hoarding nail polish like myself), 50 bucks would be quite easy to reach.

- One of their warehouses is located in Vancouver, BC.
This means: no duties to pay.  And it also explains the lightning-fast shipping.

There's no worse feeling when you finally click "Checkout" only to find out that:
(a) The price of the item is 30% more expensive for Canadians;
(b) They don't ship to Canada;
(c) They ship to Canada, but Canadians don't get free shipping;
(d) They ship to Canada, and Canadians get free shipping, but they would have to spend 5x as much as Americans to get it; or,
(e) They ship to Canada, and Canadians get free shipping, but the applicable duties and taxes are comparable to the price of the item itself.

Since their warehouse is in Canada, we Canadians don't have to suffer the dreaded double standard.

- Prices are already in Canadian
Please refer to point (a) above.

- Nail polish hoarding enabler
Going back to point (b) above, nail polish is considered a hazardous material, which means it and like products often cannot be shipped internationally (ie. out of the US unless the option of ground transportation is available).  Again, since one of their warehouses is already in Canada, this is not a problem.

Also, where I live, Essie nail polishes go for $10-12 bucks, which is why I was very happy when I discovered that FIE sells them for $7.50-7.99.  They also have some old-school Essie polishes from bygone collections.  I would say that FIE is probably a collection or two behind the stores, but you ain't got no complaints here.

Did I mention that they sell Deborah Lippmann polishes for $19.99-$21.99?

- Free shipping is automatically factored into your order if the treshold is met
Of course, many websites do this already, but some asshole websites plaster "FREE SHIPPING OVER X-DOLLARS!!!!" and then require a coupon code to actually apply.  So in other words, they prey on the forgetful or overlook-ful.

- Layout/Design
My major gripe about the website.  It is not intuitive or user-friendly, in my opinion (duh, I'm the one writing it).  I found it confusing to navigate as the tabs on the left menu are redundant and do not allow for easy browsing.  Drop-menus offer a cleaner look and better organization.  Their layout as it currently stands is doing their product selection a disservice.

- Lowest Price Guarantee
While it is the lowest price of Essie nail polishes I've encountered, I'm not sure if the other products are necessarily the lower prices.  I am not immersed in the world of hair products to know whether or not their prices are considered 'good,' but some cursory googling would tell me they are not particularly low.  But, I'm sure those of you looking for a particular product would have researched it enough to gauge what a reasonable price would be.   

Until next time,

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