Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sammy Reviews: Storets (South Korea)

Hi, all!

When it comes to filling up (or in my case, overflowing) my wardrobe, I have been thrift-shopping with my parents while shopping retail on and off.
It has been awhile since I online-shopped on new websites, but that doesn't mean I haven't been window(online)-shopping around!

I have been admiring Storets for the longest of time since I first read about them in WhoWhatWear.com, and I have seen many beautiful things come and go without them entering my closet, haha.
The company is based in South Korea, which explains their very girly aesthetics with a touch of edge here and there.
They had free international delivery for a limited time only for items featured in their "Summer Romance" range, so I jumped at the opportunity to pop my Storets cherry!
I also got a 10% discount coupon code, so I thought if I don't buy anything now, I probably never will.
#YOLO

So let's take a quick look at the dress I chose, from the website:


Isn't it dreamy?
*sighs*

I chose their Bella Shirred Midi Dress because it was the sweetest summery dress that will be perfect for any occasion, and it is inexpensive.

Anyway, here are the shipping basics according to the website:
Delivery fee: USD15 (FREE for orders over USD75+)
Oversized or special delivery items may be subject to a delivery surcharge.
International Shipping method: Expedited Shipping (i.e. FedEx/SF express/EMS)
Estimated shipping time is 2 to 5 business days after dispatch.
One day delivery is not available.
Storets reserve the right to select the courier for each order.

Now, on to my shopping experience!

The site is pretty easy to navigate through, with really large and bright photos that really attract your attention (and probably your squealing wallet).
Each product has quite a number of photos taken at different angles to help you understand the product better.
They also have different colours for one product sometimes, but I like the fact that they list each colour individually while still allowing the buyer to pick other options within the listing itself.
In other words, no stone (or listing) is left unturned!

So initially, when I tried to checkout on my phone, I noticed I was still charged the shipping fee.
Refreshing the page, selecting other promotional items, and doing it all again on my laptop didn't fix the problem, so I sent an email to their customer service team.
I got a reply about three hours later; there was a system glitch but it was fixed and I was told to try again.
I went back to the website on my laptop to try, and it finally worked!
So I excitedly clicked on the "PayPal Checkout" button, went through the payment process, only to be redirected to the website that loads and reloads on loop.
Then, I tried checking out on my phone, but the same thing happened still.
I was getting a little frustrated at this point (so much work for one really cheap but pretty dress!), but a lightbulb went off in my head that made me try the normal checkout button instead.
Thankfully, there was an option to select PayPal, and the payment went through without any glitches.
WOOHOO!

In short, I successfully made the purchase at night on 10 April 2018.
On 11 April 2018 afternoon, I received an email saying that my item has been picked up and will be shipped via FedEx.
In terms of processing time, that is crazy fast, considering they are running a few promotions right now.
Estimated arrival is on 12 April 2018, which sounds crazy impossible to me, but I would be happy to be proven wrong since the parcel is coming in from South Korea.

And guess what?
My parcel was safely delivered the next afternoon, just like they said it would!
*pops imaginary confetti*

While the whole delivery process was a breeze, I'm most curious about their quality, which is precisely why I made this purchase.
Storets have been putting out really adorable stuff that looks great on their site, but research showed that there were many complaints about the lack of quality for the price you're paying.
Although I cannot speak for all their items since I only bought one, we shall see if this dress alone lived up to my expectations.

Here's how the dress came in:


Fancy sticker on a nice brown box...


WHERE IS MY PIZZA?!

Hahaha joking joking, don't stop reading please.
*kowtows*

As you can see, the dress came wonderfully-packaged, and was folded neatly.
The colour was exactly what I expected, so that's good.
Material-wise, it is 100% polyester so it isn't the most comfortable dress, but they did mention this in the product specification on the website.

In terms of workmanship, this is where I personally feel it isn't worth paying full price for.
While I don't think it's entirely terrible (believe me when I said I've seen MUCH worse), it isn't exactly top-notch, either.
It definitely has a fast-fashion feel to it, with untidy finishes mostly on the underside.
In comparison, quality-wise, I'd say it is more H&M than Zara.

When it comes to sizing, it's a little weird because most of the items on their website are listed in size S, just like my dress.
Honestly, I thought they listed it as such because it is free-size, but it should be able to fit other sizes, right?
WRONG!
Although the dress fitted me alright when I tried it on, it is a little tight where my shoulders are, but note that I'm actually a size M with broader shoulders.
This means that it fits true to size!
I think you can still cheat a little when it comes to loose-fitting clothes, but for anything that doesn't stretch, steer clear if you're larger or more voluptuous.
Another thing to note is, a lot of their items are professional-clean only, so be careful not to stick them into the wash!

So this is how the dress looks like in real life, after a brief round of extreme ironing (needs more rounds of that, but at least it is presentable):


I do like the dress, so I won't be making any returns, but I read their return policy and it's pretty lengthy, phew!
Here it is for reference sake:
Merchandise must be returned to us (arrive at our office) within 30 days of delivery to the customer.
Merchandise must be in its original condition, without fragrance and make-up residue, unworn and unwashed and any gifted items must be returned.
Merchandise must have all tags, including any Storets hang-tags, attached.
Any merchandise marked "outlet" cannot be returned.
Any merchandise in "sale" category cannot be returned.
Any merchandise with discounted price cannot be returned.
Discount codes are not considered as discount price, hence orders which used discount codes are eligible for return.
In the interests of hygiene, all accessories - including but not limited to jewelry, headbands, hats, underwear, hosiery, belts, footwear, socks and bodysuits - cannot be returned.
All swimwear returns must have hygiene liners still intact, and also be in their original condition - items with discoloration caused by lotion, sunscreen, oil and chlorine are not eligible for return.
Home products such as ornaments, blankets, candles and air fresheners, are not eligible for return.
All returned merchandises will be granted either as loyalty points, or a refund to the original payment method (i.e. credit card, PayPal). Please note that original shipping charges of flat rate of US$15 for orders under US$75, if separately charged, are non-refundable.
Returns received at our warehouse after the 30 days window will only be granted back as loyalty points.
Contact our customer service team (cs@storets.com) with (i) your order number, (ii) desired items to return and (iii) the return reason, to get an authorization code (RMA code). Write this return code outside the package for correct identification.
Note that without the RMA code, it is difficult to identify the package, so refund process may be very slow or may even pass the deadline.
Use any kind of courier that you like (doesn't have to be Fedex or DHL) but make sure to declare it as return merchandise under US$50 for fast clearance. 
Once return merchandise packages are received, we will contact you with the results of processing and the refund options.
Refunds will be processed within approximately 1-2 business days after your selection of refund option.
Original shipping charges are non-refundable (refer to #2-9 above).
Defective or wrong items must be claimed, with images of the defects, within 7 days of receipt and must be in its original condition, unworn and unwashed.
Defective item is granted as exchange to the same item without defect and refund is not allowed unless the item is no longer available.
For swimwear, discoloration caused by lotion, sunscreen, oil and chlorine are not manufacturing defects.
Return shipping for defected garments will be granted the same amount of loyalty points.

I've read reviews online that said their return process is a huge hassle and is expensive, but I've also read some that said it was a breeze.
Truth to be told, I'd rather keep the item or resell it than send it back and still risk not getting refunded, but that's just me!

So in conclusion, will I buy from Storets again?
Likely, but it definitely depends most on ongoing sales or specials!

And that finalizes my online shopping experience with Storets!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience, and hopefully my review will be able to help you make an informed decision on whether to shop with Storets in the near future!

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