Anybody would have thought I’d have learned my lesson about buying scandalously cheap crap off the internet after the recent Overalls Fiasco.
That would be the fiasco in which I ordered scandalously cheap but cute overalls made by desperate malnourished children in Asia and they showed up and I tried them on, and I looked like a 300-pound halibut.
In spite of which, yet another package from the internet landed on my porch the other day. In my defense, I do believe I ordered it the same week I ordered the Large Marine Life Overalls, but it took two and a half months longer to arrive, because it was being shipped by messenger squid. This looked like a better risk anyway: it was just a simple tunic top. It would be hard to go far wrong.
Except, you know what? Chinese merchants think American women are the size of refrigerators. I ordered a nice uncontroversial Medium and put it on and I’m not sure the fabric touched me anywhere. It covers my ass, I’ll give it that. My neighbor’s ass might be in there too.
Well, this time I was not going to get caught up in trying to sew it back to my size. I would just return it for a smaller size. Or a refund. They said they don’t pay return shipping, but it couldn’t cost much. It doesn’t weigh much more than a few postage stamps. In the ad it looked as though it should, like maybe it was a nice sweater knit with a bit of heft to it, but no. Turns out it’s made of guppy scales and vapor. So.
I sent out an email to the Return People as noted on the invoice. I included the order number, the delivery date, the product name, and the reason for exchange. I couldn’t think of anything to add that was really any of their business.
We want to thank you for reaching out to our customer care team! Our goal is to ensure that you have a satisfied shopping experience on our sites! We’ve received your inquiry! To better serve your needs, we need additional information! To wit: order number, delivery date, product name, and reason for exchange. Please note customer must reply to every email in seven days or else.
I sent back the requested info, in boldface Baskerville font.
We are sorry you are not satisfied with the item. Customer is responsible for return postage. The return center is in Guangzhou, China. The shirt cost $21. The post office can get it there for a snappy $65.85. Please reply in five days if you want a return shipping label.
Dudes. Is this about that tariff thing? Because I totally did not vote for that mofo.
I wrote back quick. I was running out of time. “Um…”
Please note we must receive reply within three days to prevent detonation of closet monster. If this is not satisfying to customer, we are willing to offer 15% cash refund which can be used to alter item.
Which it could, if there were any desperate malnourished Asian children sewing seams in the Portland area. Alternately, it could be used to purchase a third of an egg roll, or one whole one if you promise to just lick it and give it back.
I probably should have taken them up on the cash smidgeon, but I’m down to the last day, and I’m afraid the next email would trigger legal proceedings to garnish my pension check for upsetting the customer care team. I’m already worried they know where I live. I’ll just wear it. I’ll wear it and I’ll like it. I promise.
This is why I prefer to buy items from large, reputable companies, even though they may be more expensive. Even Amazon is only a last resort when no one else has what I want. I've been burned by Amazon in the past (jars of pond salt broken and leaking in the package… moisturizer open and squirting all over the inside of the package…) and sometimes it's only after you've ordered and received something — months later — that you realize that it came from China. Whatever it is usually immediately falls apart as it is all worthless crap. There's no getting around it; you pay for quality. But buying cheap is a false economy.
Buying nothing has worked for me for a while. Got to get right back to that.
Isn't it aggravating how the clothes sizes are so different than what companies' sizing chart measurements say they will be. Since there are fewer and fewer brick and mortar stores now, I imagine a future where we will order all of our clothes online. Then all of us will be walking around in oddly fitting clothes.
I am wondering how contagious the corona virus is on clothing items that may have been made by someone who had the virus while they were sewing it. I read somewhere that the virus could live two days on surfaces,but I'm not sure that is a fact.
Recently I ordered a blouse online. When I looked on the clothing item for a tag saying where it was made, there was no tag with that info that I could find. The information on line said it was imported but not from where. The blouse is very pretty, and fits well, but it smelled like someone had dunked it in fuel oil or some kind of petroleum product. It was stinking up the room. I put it outside and let it air out for two days and it smells fine now. So between the fuel oil and the fresh air, I don't think any virus could survive, I will wash it by hand in case there is still some chemical on it. Strange times we are living in.
Don't forget the month and a half boat trip. I think I would worry about a lot of other things first…
News flash, Murr: A lot of American women ARE the size of refrigerators . . .
(Not body-shaming here, just stating a fact.)
Compared to Murr, many of us American women are the size of….In defense of the company, though, the top in the photo of the model makes it look like a small tent that would fit a dorm-sized refrigerator.
Murr–Methinks your glasses need cleaning? Yes, you are right: the artistic draping disguises the true volume; however, the garment looks very generous, to me.
I've kicked myself a time or two for not paying more attention to how a model was so artistically posed that it hid the "flaw(s)" of a garment. Caveat emptor. (I'm embarrassed to admit that, years ago, not understanding how eBay (or it may have been a different but similar website) operated, I payed $300 for a book that was easily worth one-tenth of that. There was no grounds for return because my "assumptions" were what made me think the book would be worth $300.
Cop Car, I have learned the hard way to pay attention to the way things fit on the models — AND to realize that, as models, they are cut in vastly different proportions than I am. For instance, models are invariably TALL. I am short. So if the sleeve obscures her hands, I know that they are "orangutan sleeves", and I don't buy it. If the "cropped pants" fall to her ankles instead of mid-calf, I know they will obscure my feet. Not all sites have measurements of their clothing items. So a good way to approximate how it would look is to compare one's own body to the model's. Of course, this is not foolproof, as fools are so ingenious.
You'll all be pleased to know that my new glasses are waiting for me at Kaiser Optical. I think they will make me smarter.
Awww…Murr…you're joshing me. You have enough smarts without new glasses, which you abundantly display in your postings. I should be so smart (instead of being so smart-alecky!)
Your inner Murr must think she's a willowy 5'10"! Tsk, from one short person to another 🙂
I noticed that pattern too.
I thought it would be drapey but fit in the shoulders and be more substantial somehow. That's it. I'm not doing it again. Y'all can call me on it if I slip up.
It sure looks like heavier material in the ad.
Murr, you need to stop buying anything that's being modeled by a 6' tall 120 lb woman. As soon as I see those types of ads, I move on because there's no way they make clothing for actual humans.
I DON'T NEED TO BUY ANYTHING. Why do I sometimes go for it anyway?
We Americans slipped from buying what we need to want to desire decades ago. I just know that if I purchase that new top this 82-year-old, dumpy body will magically transform into the above-mentioned 6' tall 120 lb 20-year-old body. (OK, so I added the 20-year-old to the scheme.) It's always disappointing to me to have to face-meet a person with whom I've previously dealt (for years sometimes) by phone. I have led them to believe that I am that willowy, buxom, 21-year-old blonde goddess.
I’ve learned not to mail order clothes as well. Too many disappointments in size, color, fabric composition, and quality. I had the opposite experience with Chinese sizes, and had to order two sizes larger because Chinese women are so tiny in comparison. My fave store is Kohl’s. Lots of discounts too.
Never been there. Kohl's, not China. China neither.
Last week, on the same day, in person, the size medium pants were too big and I had to buy a size 18 bathing suit! And people wonder why women drink!
I'm drinking right now. I'll have one for you. I, on the other hand, just went into a local store and complained that the sale rack was out of my size for some nice corduroy pants, but the lady made me try on a size smaller because they "run large," and lo, I was a size 6. And they did fit. I am not a size 6. I didn't buy the pants, either.
Wait, you had an actual lady assisting you in the dressing room, with different sizes, who knew her product and advised you helpfully? So…the old ways are still known. We must support our elders in bringing their knowledge to the new generation.Circle 'round the campfire and pass the peace pipe and let's hear a tale.
Yeah, except the helpful bra ladies always give me PTSD.
I had the opposite experience in ordering a down jacket from China. I ordered a medium and could not even sanp the bottom! I did not return it but gave it to my daughter who gave it to her daughter, which shows how small it was. I am no longer ordering clothing from sources I do not know.
New rule: no clothes from a store I can't walk to.
At least the sleeves appear to be of equal length. A sweatshirt seems to have a fit you can trust. Paint a pattern on it for more formal occasions.
You would not believe how many sweatshirts I have painted. In case you were joking.
Shoes dammit Shoes. I'm hard to fit, but the 1st 37 cm pair I bought fit like a dream. I ordered another pair, same shoe, same size, a good inch longer and fit like a medium-size dory. Customer service; See Murr's experience above. I have a third pair in transit, ordered same time as second. God knows what size they'll be. And red. I ordered red. What was I thinking?
Do let us know!
I would never buy shoes online until I encountered Zappos. Free returns and they have encouraged me to order two or even three sizes at once if I am unsure. Then, I keep the pair that fits best and send back any others for free. Game changer!
I don't have a thing for shoes. Which means I can't ever get it together when I'm supposed to dress up. I could get a plausible outfit on but then there I am with my ankle socks and sandals.
All I can say is…you have a sewing machine.
We're not talking.
I'm wary of buying clothes online for the same reason. If things are only too long, it's not a problem, I can do hems. But if they're too big around, like a circus tent maybe, then I'm in trouble. and why does everything come with a scoop neck? I don't want my boobs open to the breezes, I don't even want to show cleavage.
Sing it, Sister! Nothing says "sexy" like my crepe-y, old cleavage. I didn't even show cleavage when I was decades younger, why would I want to do it, now?
At least I have comfy bras now. A little skooshy. I lost a couple pistachio shells in there during the Super Bowl.
P.S. tunic tops are supposed to be loose fitting.
I'm 100% in favor of Loose. This one's *getting* loose.
Oh, yeah, Guangzhou. Same exact experience as you, only I DID request the 15% refund & guess what? Radio Silence while the clock ticked time out. Only difference from you is I'd ordered medium, and the armholes & sleeves were child size, while the shirtbody was huge. I made a note of the address for when I visit China, w. a detour off the river cruise down to this Guangzhou – must be quite the industrial sweatshop town.
Aha! Now have we both learned our lesson? PS Don't visit China just yet.
Oh, right- coronavirus & all…And yes I have learned not to order clothes online…except from really really oldschool companies, like LLBean, and who knows how long even that will last,before China is Everywhere.
Aww, Murr! Where's your creative, 'can-do' spirit? I say, belt it and wear it with some fishnet hose and spike heels and nuthin' else….
Fishnet hose. Spike heels. Who you talkin' to, boy?
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