Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Little Black Bag Review - July 2013

I received a $10 gift card for Little Black Bag, so I gave it a try and see how the process works!

What: Little Black Bag

The Cost: You determine the cost of your bag by selecting an item you wish to buy at the price listed on their website. The items are cheaper if you select VIP, but be aware that if you do, you are opting into a credit plan where you are charged $9.95/month for a $10 credit to their store. In my opinion this wasn't really clear at the time I bought my bag. Hopefully they have made some improvements since then!

The Products: Handbags, Jewelry, Shoes, Accessories, Beauty, Home, Apparel

The Process:  You browse the website as you would any other online shopping site. Once you find an item you like, you place it in your bag and then get two extra items added for free. You won't know these exact items until you check out, but they tell you the brand and the value of the items. The value of these extras are greater if you select a higher priced item, such as a handbag. You get to trade during checkout with other members if you don't like the bonus items selected for you. If you don't want to trade for any items, you can "turn down" all the offers and check out.

The item that I selected for my bag was the Namrata Joshipura Aztec Print Turban Headband ($54 value) for $34.95 with a 3-item bundle. My bonus items were Robert Rose Filigree Disk Earrings in Silver ($18) and Pandora's Makeup Box Lipstick in Watermelon ($16). At the time Little Black Bag was also offering an additional bonus item for signing up: a sample size of NuMe Hydro Punch Shampoo ($1.98). 

After adding on costs for taxes/shipping and handling and then deducting my $10 gift card, I ended up paying $30.90 for approximately $70.93 worth of stuff. I definitely wouldn't have paid $70, but I'm happy with what I did pay. My only issue is that the earrings look a little cheap up close and the packaging of the lipstick appears like it belongs in a little girl's vanity for those days she plays dress-up or princess. Despite these factors though, I will probably wear/use both items.

Conclusion: While I was overall satisfied with my purchase from Little Black Bag, I don't think I will be purchasing in the future mainly for the following reasons:  

1) It wasn't very clear on the website that I was signing up for a long-term commitment or that I would be charged $9.95/month for a $10 credit to their site at the time I placed my order.

2) When I discovered the first charge on my account, I followed the appropriate steps to cancel. I received confirmation of my cancellation & refund via email on August 9th, but weeks went by and I still hadn't seen my refund come through on my bank account. Then on September 6th, I received yet ANOTHER charge on my account. I contacted customer service again to cancel my account and this time I finally received my refund on September 9th. I know it wasn't a very hefty charge, but every little bit counts and it adds up after awhile!

3) This company not only informed me of how much credit I had via email but they also CALLED me. I never give companies my phone number unless required, so I found it quite annoying that I was being contacted consistently through multiple sources. This especially annoyed me during the month I waited for my refund to come through. It was almost like a constant reminder that I was still waiting.

I'm sure that Little Black Bag is a great company and that they have plenty of loyal customers, but unfortunately I probably won't become one. Hopefully the company as a whole will continue to grow and I still recommend that you check it out if it seems like something you'd be interested in! I was happy with my purchase, but I simply wasn't interested in being a part of their VIP membership.

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