Bargain or Bust? June Edition

For a while I've been debating trying some of the fast fashion websites I've been seeing everywhere on social media.  You see their items all over Pinterest, their ads are on Instagram, and lately pictures I've been liking from the Like To Know app have been linking there as well.  For those of you who may not be familiar, there are a slew of sites out there (Shein, Cupshe, Zaful to name a few) with items that are on trend and priced ridiculously low.  However, there's the risk that you get what you pay for; I've found a scant amount of reviews about these websites, but the ones I have found have not been very good.  Some have commented on failure to receive their purchase entirely, sizing being completely off (normally too small), and items literally falling apart upon arrival.  With that being said, you all know I just cannot pass up what may be a good deal, so I've decided to start a Bargain or Bust segment of my adventures!  I'll make a purchase from one of these sites, and then review everything about my experience: what it was like shopping there, shipping time, how my items came, and how the items worked out.  Hopefully this can save some of you darlings some trouble, or can lead you to a treasure trove!

I started my Bargain or Bust adventure with Shein.com.  I selected this one in particular because I recently saw a top I LOVED posted by a fashion blogger on Instagram, and Like To Know led me to Shein:

After looking around the website, the prices were so low I couldn't not take a chance!  Plus, they were offering Free Shipping on any US order, and I received a $3 off coupon for creating an account on their website.

Some initial thoughts while filling my cart:
  • There's an overwhelming amount of items on the website, and no real way to filter aside from general category (tops, blouses, dresses, etc.).  I've been searching for a yellow dress in particular, so sometimes those filters are nice to have to narrow down what you are looking for.
  • After a while everything seemed to follow the same trends: lots of the light blue color that is in right now (not complaining, I'm a little obsessed myself), tons of ruffle sleeves, grid prints, and tie front shirts.  
  • SO MANY CROP TOPS.  Obviously I am all for a good crop top with a high-waisted bottom, but those won't always work for me in the workplace!  
  • Like I've read in reviews, the sizing was not standard, and they make it clear to check the the listed measurements for each item.  I really wanted to try this skirt, but the biggest size they have wouldn't fit my waist!  I also read the comments, which were super helpful when it came to sizing concerns.  One girl posted a picture of herself wearing a skirt, but said she ordered a large and she normally wears a small.  That one wasn't going to work for me!
  • It's hard for me to believe something is actually embroidered when it's $13.  Stayed away from those items!
  • Overall my shopping experience was easy.  There were a few glitches with the website (I put some items on my Wishlist that said they were in stock, but when I went to check out they were out of stock).    
I ended up purchasing these three items:

Following the size guide I ordered a medium in the shirt on the left ($15), a large for the skirt ($17) and the shirt on the right was One Size - my least favorite thing to see! ($10).  I used my coupon code, and my total came to $40.99 with "shipping insurance" for $1.99.

The order, shipping, and delivery process was pretty seamless, but took a while.  I received a tracking number three days after placing my order, and then the package was delivered almost exactly two weeks later.  Not too bad considering the tracking showed the package originated in China.

Packages came neatly wrapped in plastic.  Opening each one up individually, I was actually surprised at how cute they turned out to be - I think I was expecting the absolute worst!  The quality is definitely not there and the material is extremely cheap.  The button up shirt borderline felt like a paper gown from the doctor's office, and when I opened each button threads came out everywhere from the button holes.  When I tried the shirt on to take pictures for you, I noticed a slight thinning of the fabric that I'm sure will quickly lead to a hole.

HOWEVER, with that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how cute everything was, and more importantly, how everything fit!  Each item actually fit me perfectly.  I had also heard horror stories of items not being anything remotely like the picture online, and I don't think that is the case with my order.  I think my items look like what was reflected, and are darling!

Overall I am pleased with my purchase.  I'll definitely put each item to good use, and with the price, if that use is one wear before it falls apart I will certainly not be too heartbroken!

Rated: Bargain! (with the quality expectation)

Until next time darlings!

xoxo, Bettie


Friday Finds - June 30, 2017

Does anyone else absolutely beat the crap out of their sandals every summer?  No matter how hard I try, I fail to keep my sandals in great condition - I guess you can say I "Walk Hard"!  Since it's a guarantee my sandals will be tattered within a few months, I'm always on the lookout for trendy pairs on the super cheap.  An online boutique I follow had been posting outfits with these adorable sandals, and I was surprised to find out they were from Payless!  A few weeks ago they were having a sale on all sandals, plus there was a coupon for an additional 25% off.  I decided to try two other pairs as well; after coupons my total purchase came to $28.47!  Unfortunately the ones I had specifically made the order for were too narrow, but the other two pairs fit perfectly:

Left: Rayna Chopout Sandal - $7.49 with coupon
Right: Trixie Leg-Wrap Flat - $11.24 with coupon

The soles of the Rayna Chopout sandals are a little flimsy (they feel really thin, almost like cardboard!) but they look really cute on.  I've received so many compliments on the Trixie Leg-Wrap Flats - they remind me of a pair of sandals my mom got from Anthropologie years ago.  

Where/what is your go-to for sandals?  Any sales I should know about?  Do tell in the comments below :)

xoxo, Bettie


Bettie is Back! Quick NJ Shore Pit Stop

Hello dears,

It's certainly been a while, but after a hiatus your darling Bargain Bettie is back, and with a vengeance!  I was able to score my old work laptop for just $100 (talk about a bargain!), and am ready to get back to updating my fellow thrifters and deal-lovers with my finds.  Just because I haven't been writing certainly does not mean I haven't been shopping (obviously), so hopefully I can catch you all up on some of my deals through more regular Friday Finds!

My most recent shop stop was a stumble-upon moment while spending the day in Red Bank.  I'm planning an event for my company at the GORGEOUS Oyster Point and Molly Pitcher hotels, and after a walk through had some kill time in town before heading on the road home.  I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Taylor Sam's (probably one of the best salad's I've ever had) and was walking back towards my car when I noticed the windows of Greene Street.  The outside of the store looks so chic I wouldn't have even known it was consignment, had the words "Shop, Recycle, Consign" not caught my eye!

The first thing I liked about Greene Street from the moment I stepped in was the ambiance and set up. High ceilings, great lighting, a bit industrial chic with good music; it definitely had a great boutique feel.  Everything felt very fresh; it didn't feel like you were shopping secondhand or consignment at all.

The store was organized into clothing item type: a rack for shirts, a rack for dresses, a high-end designer rack, etc.

A decent men's section!

A section of dresses along the wall.
One thing I LOVED about Greene Street was their shoe section; something about the way they displayed their shoes made me want to desperately find a pair!

For my fitness ladies there was an Activewear rack.  I pulled a super cute Lululemon CRB and a pair of Athleta knickers to try on.  Unfortunately neither fit, but if you're a secondhand Lulu/Athleta junkie like I am, the rack is definitely worth a look.

Ultimately I entered the dressing room with a very heavy hand of hangers - a great cherry printed dress from J.Crew, a funky patterned babydoll by BCBG, and some other fun pieces:

My absolute FAVORITE was a plaid fit n' flare.  I was so sad that it was tight across the bust and was pulling!  It was ever so slight, but pulling in that area is a pet peeve of mine when I wear clothes, so I knew it would constantly bother me.

In the end Greene Street had a really great selection of fun, different pieces.  Everything I had pulled was in really great condition.   By my standards it is on the pricier side; while you're paying significantly less than in-store prices for clothes that are in like-new condition, $30.00 and up for a second-hand, current trend dress isn't my idea of a knock-your-socks-off find (I'd rather spend that on amazing vintage!).  For instance, the plaid dress I liked was $28.95 - if it had been under $15-20, I would have more seriously considered purchasing in light of the pulling. However, if you're simply looking for prices you could find on a clearance rack at your normal mall stores, this would suit your fancy.  Greene Street is actually a chain with multiple locations in NJ and the greater Philadelphia area - I'd love to check other locations out to see what their stock is like.  Apparently they have a men's only store in Chesnut Hill - maybe I'll bring my sweetheart and get his opinion!

My stop at Greene Street was a fun way to end my nice summer day in Red Bank.  I know I barely scratched the surface of fun shopping in this town - I'll be sure to report back when I return for some more serious hunting!

Until the next adventure,

xoxo, Bettie

P.S. - Red Bank is 15 minutes away from one of my favorite places in the world, Delicious Orchards, so you bet I made a pass on my way home.  If you come to this area, don't leave without the world's best cider donuts and pies!


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