Monday, February 20, 2017

What's up with ThredUP

Okay. Think Crossroads Trading Company, but online. Exact same model. A place where you can shop second-hand clothes and sell your own duds, but online. And in theory, the preferred way of doing things, right? If there's another, easier option [where I don't have to drag my own shit to a store to wait 45 minutes up to an hour and a half for my things to be sorted] you would think I'd be all over it.

I have not shopped at ThredUP. I don't shop at Crossroads Trading Co. either. For me, the idea is to make extra cash, fast. And that's why I like selling to Crossroads. I steer clear of temptations to buy anything at Crossroads because I'm there to make money, not squander it.....ok, truth is obviously I have my eyes on a sale somewhere else so you know, gotta stick to the plan! 

When I was in college at Arizona State, I sold my Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters clothes to a fun place in Tempe called Buffalo Exchange. Some of you guys know about Buffalo. They're nationwide. Those were the days. Piling into the car with your girlfriends with loads of outfits you've probably worn once or twice, and heaving it all onto the counter at Buffalo. Because, we had to make money to go out that weekend. Duh. Money for new Forever 21 tops and Urban Outfitter jeans and beer.

So, I'm no stranger to the selling second-hand clothing process. When I was 20, my clothes were cheap. I didn't expect to get much from Buffalo in those days. My expectations were formed early and I knew not to expect much. 

Nowadays, my wardrobe is slightly more sophisticated. But I still shop at Urban and I have loads of Tarjay. But I know better than to take those items to sell at Crossroads. Their preference is contemporary designer and your shit better not look too used or don't bother. And that's actually why I always make good money at Crossroads because I take higher-end pieces that I'm just done with and they're generally like new. Easy sells. Good cash.

So, what's up with ThredUP? Basically I went online and signed up to receive a large bag from ThredUP that I filled and sent back to them. Note: You incur a $9.99 deduction from any future profits from sales of your things to pay for the postage of that bag that you fill up and send to them to have your things evaluated for sale.

So, I filled her up and I filled her up. 10 lbs. to be exact. Granted, I sent them things that I just wanted to donate or maybe make a little something. These items were my Crossroads rejects. Meaning, Crossroads had passed on these pieces. Pieces like Free People velvet navy flares. Miu Miu earrings. Tahari sequin blazer, tags still attached. Zara velvet leggings. KORS sandals, never get the idea...some high-end and some those cute Mossimo lace-up flats I wore once but just didn't feel comfortable in...

ThredUP has a system called "upfront payout". Cash for things they buy from you "on the spot". They gave me a whole $8.90. Ew. Like tacky, no? That amount was a $1 short of the $9.99 fee they charge for the bag that I filled up and sent to them. Which means I don't even get that $8.90. The best part?? Those supposed worthless items that were only "worth" $8? 3 of the 4 of them have already sold. Which means ThredUP definitely made back that $9.99 they're charging me. But I don't see what they made off those items that apparently were hot to trot...because they sold...and immediately. See the screen shot of my account details for yourself...

*note: they were Free People VELVET pants. As in something that would bring in more money because we all know velvet is what's up right now. They chose to refer to them as cords and cords they were not. See for yourself. Velvet or velvetty, if you will. But not corduroy. 

So, once I got over the fact that they gave me less than $10 (correction, I don't get that $8.90). So, once I got over the fact that I got nothing upfront. I took a gander at what they decided they could sell on consignment from my 10 lb. bag.

OKAY. This was basically my "whatever" moment. When you look at something. You're not impressed but you're not unimpressed. So, you're just whatever. 

Moving on. You are paid via PayPal. Where you again incur another fee, although a small one. This process is almost like looking at your cell phone bill and looking at the fees breakdown. The state tax fee, the county tax fee, the city tax fee, the your eyes are blue tax, yeah, you get paid via PayPal should that be what you opt for. However, there is a waiting period before you are able to transfer any profits you make. Just an FYI. 

Please note that you can also choose to donate your items. ThredUP offers this option. However, as can be expeccted, if you have anything you really want back, should they choose not to sell it, you will incur a charge for anything you'd like returned. 

My advice? Do yourself a favor and don't send anything over to ThredUP that you might want back. It's seriously much more trouble than it's worth. But then again that is just my opinion.

If you're looking for instant gratification, this service is not for you. If you need money asap, get your bum to Crossroads. And make sure you give them something worth their time and yours. I mean you made the trek there after all. Time is money honey.

And since time is money, ThredUP is not the best choice. It took 2 weeks for the bag itself to even get to my house. And I live an hour away from the distribution center, here in the SF Bay Area. Right off the bat I was annoyed. When I sent the bag back and they got it, I got an email saying it would take a little over a month for it to be sorted. Yes. Over a month. Oh goodie! I'm in que! Super annoyed.

Then, when they finally sorted and came up with an $8 upfront payout, I was beyond annoyed. And that's okay. Because this was my first time learning their system. And while I'm not impressed, it's not the worst. I just have to learn to lower my expectations. Just as I did years ago with Buffalo Exchange. And then again with Crossroads. Don't give them anything you're going to cry over when they offer you $5 and you'll be okay! 

So, to summarize, will I sell with ThredUP again? Probably. Not any time soon though as the wait time is its worst attribute. Would I buy from ThredUP? Me personally, no. I refuse to buy things from the places I sell to because it's defeating my purpose for being there. Some people sell to trade, but I sell to take that cash and spend it elsewhere. 

Do I think Crossroads is worth the 45 minutes to an hour wait? I do now. Especially when you get cash in your hand after that wait. 2 hours out of my day compared to 2 months plus (remember, I now have to wait to see if the items they bought on consignment will sell. If they don't, I made nothing.) You saw above that I got a payout for the once connsignment item that has sold. But nothing has sold since. And I've got 0 expectations. 

Disappointing eh?


Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's from my Little Spoon & I

As a little Thank You from Betty and I, this Valentine's Day, I'm hosting a fun giveaway. You guys have been LOVING my partnership with Top Shelf Apparel & since you've been using my special code and shopping away....I've decided to do a Top Shelf Apparel giveaway!

I have to say Betty and I are LOVING the partnership with Top Shelf many fun and cheeky tees, tanks and sweats to choose from. My favorite styles being the sponge fleece sweatshirts because they are SO soft and the doggy t-shirts. Everything is soft and well-made. And A+ customer service.

If you haven't shopped yet, check out the S H O P tab up at the top of my site and you'll be linked to my favorite Top Shelf Apparel pieces. And do not forget to enter CODE: SHOPSAVESEQUIN at checkout to get 20% OFF your entire purchase!

So, with all that said, Betty and I are GIVING AWAY (1) Little Spoon red flowy tank top (sold out) size small (1) Little Spoon red cheekie undie $12 size small (1) Little Spoon red boyfriend brief $14 size small

3 items total in the giveaway. Each piece is red and size small. No substitutions can be made as this is a Valentine's specific giveaway. So, enter to win this cute set for yourself or as a gift for a friend! USA entrants only please.



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Something new from L'Oréal

I love trying out NEW stuff! Lucky me, Influenster & L'Oréal sent goodies for my hair to test and give my unaltered opinion. And I have to say, we have a winner with the Color Vibrancy Intensive system. 

My favorite product being that repair mask. No overpowering scents. Almost like a hint of oatmeal...I almost want to eat it. And that's a little weird but it leaves my hair crazy soft. That's what's important. Because my hair is OVER-processed. Been using this system for about 3 far? So, so good. 

Prices? Best ones found at Target, so I've linked the 3 products below to easily shop. 

Happy Shopping & Saving!






I debated on whether or not to publish this post to the site. I like to keep things positive and generally, that's not a problem. I rarely encounter problematic collaborations. My sponsors are usually pretty cool people behind some great brands.

Recently you may have seen various sponsored posts by a brand/store called "Military Hippie". These posts were scattered all throughout my various social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. With the usual heavy emphasis on Instagram. Military Hippie so generously sent over 3 items I picked out from their website (as is a typical part for some collaborations) and by all appearances, everything seemed okay. Nothing out of the ordinary. And I styled the 2 sweaters and pink puffer jacket I received...

The box I got from them was normal. Nice packaging. I initially thought the sweaters were decent, especially the grey one which I have been wearing a lot in fact. I thought it odd they lacked tags. But dismissed this. I did think that the puffer jacket was unexpectedly light, iffy zipper and in all honesty seemed very cheap. I had to go back to the website to re-check the price on the puffer and I was was originally listed for $199. Whoa. Don't get me wrong. I like it. I think it's cute. BUT. $199? No honey. Just no. It looks cute on me. It kept me warm. But...I'm totally mystified on the original price (it's currently on sale). Honestly, you get better quality at Target for a hell of a lot less. 

The 2 sweaters they sent worked out. l like the grey. And I've worn it a lot these past few chilly weeks.

So, let's get to the point of this post. It was brought to my attention by multiple people, specifically disgruntled Military Hippie customers, that Military Hippie is just crap...for lack of a better word.

A friend of mine said she purchased the same grey sweater I got and [she likes it too]...but she said the customer service was awful, as in no immediate attention to her emails. And when they finally did respond to her, they said they needed to have the sweater "re-cut" or something like that...don't quote me on that, but you get the idea. I should have taken that as an omen...

Because I too wound up waiting around for email responses. And mind you, we were supposed to be working together. I was less than thrilled when they violated my copyright (by posting one of my photos in their sweater, and not attributing the photo in any way back to me or the website). As it was a copyright violation, Instagram removed the photos promptly from their Instagram. Please Note: I did try to contact them about not properly citing me in my work before I contacted Instagram about the copyright issue.

I won't go into the details of the silly responses I eventually received from Military Hippie. Suffice to say I dropped communication because it was simply a big waste of my time...and more importantly yours. My readers. Who count on me and who I am not in the business of misleading. And I felt I had inadvertently misled readers and shoppers. I was misled too. And so here is this post. To clear the air. To be perfectly honest. 

I've been receiving angry posts on Facebook about how the company is just "crap". That their clothes are terrible and that their customer service is generally unresponsive. My website's Facebook page has come under a barrage of commentary in part because Military Hippie has shut down the option for commentary/reviews on THEIR Facebook page. And if that isn't a telling sign, I don't know what is. And also in part because of my brief affiliation, styling the pieces they sent me.

*I had not previously heard of Military Hippie prior to them contacting me.

So, in the end, I will still wear the things they sent to me? Probably. Do I like them? Mostly. Do I love them? Nope. Do I think they are worth their original price tags? No. Would I shop there? What do you think?


Saturday, February 4, 2017

I have always wanted a red door.

Perhaps a little cliche but truth is I really have always wanted a bright red front door on my house. And bae made it happen just in time for Valentine's. I was surprised when he told me to pick out a color! So exciting! But as is the tendency with home improvement projects, the new paint job ended up extending past the porch to  the indoors and all throughout the interior of the house.

So while painting yourself can be lot's of fun and cost effective, a job like this is really done best by professionals. And Gehrels Custom Homes was who we went with. Based out of the SF Bay Area, they obviously do a hell of a lot more than just perfect paint jobs. Remodels and new construction are their primary business. If you follow the blog, you might remember that Gehrels Custom Homes did the lower level, kitchen remodel at my parents house this past Summer. So, choosing them was a no-brainer.

I didn't have to lift a finger. The painters arrived before they were supposed to every morning. And prepped the house without me having to move furniture or inconvenience myself trying to put things away or move things to the center of the room. They took care of all of this. My entire house was covered in plastic and the floors were covered up too. No spot was spared. I didn't have to worry about anything getting ruined. Pictures on the walls? They removed them and covered them. Rugs? They rolled them up and covered them. And the best part was they put the rooms back together pretty much exactly as they were. I left the house every day at 7 and came back around 5. The house was done in less than a week.

The painters are meticulous. Clean. Fast. And so good! My beautiful crown molding gleams all throughout the house now. The walls have all been freshly painted a slightly darker hue of the original gray I had. And my front porch is poppin'! Literally. Boring entrance into our home, no longer! I absolutely love it. Red is always a good idea. Be bold.

Choosing colors from Kelly-Moore, I ended up on: Lolita red for the front door. Whitest White for the crown molding and the front porch. And Sterling Water gray for the interior walls. I fell on this color scheme because I was and have always been inspired by this rare photo of a geisha I have hanging in my office. The photo is by photographer Lisa Kristine.

Shout out and thanks to GCH - Gehrels Custom Homes for the fabulous job. Fresh new start for a fresh new year!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Maybe it's Maybelline.

Yes. I got these products freeeeee for testing & reviewing purposes. But this is my honest opinion. And opinions I definitely have. So, the new Big Shot mascara is just your regular old mascara packaged in a must-have gold bottle. The mascara is really no different than the majority of mascaras currently out on the market. 

For real though. How much more volume, plumpness, longer lashes, etc. can they deliver? Has there been some major mascara formula break-through? Nope. So, with all that said, I do like the mascara. It does the trick. But more so I'm all about that gold packaging. It definitely stands out in the vast sea of options. 

I don't have any improvements to recommend other than to MAYBE stop trying to push out yet another "NEW" mascara that really has nothing new to it other than the pretty packaging. Just say it for what it is. Guess what everyone, our mascara is still the same great stuff but behold our fabulous NEW GOLD BOTTLE! For real. A lot of times, I will buy a product simply because I'm attracted to the packaging. Who cares what's inside?! Ha! So maybe next time, Maybelline, just keep it real and say you're introducing a fun, new bold bottle. I'd probably be more inclined to buy it. Just sayin....

Maybelline's new liquid liner is what really stole the show here. I was lucky to receive this to test out and I'm SOLD. SOLD! It's magic. I love this liner like whoa. Finally. After all my searching, fits of anger, cursing....I can do a cat eye in seconds. Instead of the 30 minutes + it typically took me. I'm not very make-up savvy so liner has always been a little bitch with me. The Master Precise Curvy liquid liner fits in your hand easy, with a pen-like grip which facilitates life. Then the magic tip is shaped so you literally cannot eff this up. Well, you can always eff it up but Maybelline has made life so much easier with this product. You hold it like a pen and draw on your liner in a cinch. Trust me. You need this.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Year - New Giveaway!


First of all, let me apologize for the hot minute it took me to get this fun giveaway up on the site. Apparently working from the mountains this week didn't pan out as planned. The wi-fi signal sucked and therefore the giveaway was put on hold.....till now! phew!

You guys know I'm always getting sent product - from fashion to home to beauty. And as always, I love hosting giveaways for my readers to indulge & familiarize themselves with products they may or may not have tried out before.

So, enter the giveaway below and best of luck to you all! And if you don't end up a winner for this caboodle of swag, don't get your panties in a bunch because there's another giveaway to follow this one....and just in time to celebrate Valentine's Day.



xo Vanessa


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