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THE RISE OF BLOG SHOPS : TRIED AND TESTED

There has been a rise in blog shops recently in Asia. For those who do not know what blog shops are, they are online shops that make use of free spaces like livejournal, wordpress, blogspot... etc., as their online store. It is cheap, or if not free most of the time. These stores make use of Facebook and other social networks to promote themselves. They also give away their items by asking people to join their mailing lists. This is how they enlarge their circle. Also, they tend to evade tax most of the time.

They are not like Fidgety Fingers Shop where it is a flea shop of sorts and we report our earnings if we have any. These blog shops sell new items. They are not cheap, nor are they expensive (we do think they are expensive considering the quality). We have tried blog shops a couple of time to see what the hype is all about. This is our experience...

WHY ARE BLOG SHOPS ATTRACTIVE?
  • They are easy to use. They are online, so you can shop at your own time. You would ideally be browsing the shops even when you are skiving at work.
  • The items are relatively affordable.
  • The items are modeled by the blog owners themselves and their friends. The blog is branded and have a style or look, making them look exclusive.
  • They carry items which are trendy.
  • They give out freebies to bloggers and have these bloggers advertise their blog shops for them. So we see bloggers wearing their pieces and that somehow made a lot of girls want the items to look like these self-acclaimed celebrities(wannabes).

WHY ARE BLOG SHOPS A SCAM?
  • They mostly require bank transfers, which does not exactly leave a trace if taxation is in question. To see if they are remotely legit, see if they offer Paypal. Paypal has a system which protects the payee.
  • They carry items which are cheaply made. These items usually come in one-size and are usually a UK size 6-8. They are usually cheaply produced in places like HK, China...etc., and hence the petite Asian sizes. If you are tall and a UK6-8, you can forget about the dresses. They provide measurements. However, if you are a veteran in Ebay shopping, you would realize that those measurements are not from well fitted clothings.
  • Because they are free size, they usually do not fit very well even if you fall in the UK6-8 size range. You really do not want to spend your money altering the clothes because the pieces' true value actually cost less than your alteration fees.
  • You cannot try the pieces. Clothes tend to look nice in pictures sometimes because they are clipped at the back or front, depending which profile you are looking at.
  • As they are cheaply produced, we call them 'disposable' clothes or bags. They are made to mimic current trends but quality of the materials are very compromised and poor. They do not last, hence 'disposable'.
  • You are not protected. These are not shops. These are makeshift shops by bloggers who are trying to earn an extra buck or using these blog shops to evade rent and tax. We have bought a bag which arrived faulty and we were not compensated. We were instead given a $5 discount for our next purchase. Low business ethics, that is. Lesson learnt, no blog shops anymore for us.
  • As they are purchased from a wholesaler in China, they are not specially designed. These are bulk orders with a brand tag sewn on them. You will find similar items in various blogshops. You will also be able to find their items in shopping malls where you can touch and try those pieces on. For blogshoppers in Singapore, you can primarily find a lot of blogshop items in Far East Plaza. Blogshop items are even priced more than the shops because they tend to sell their 'brand' and you have to include postage as well.
These are just some observations. In our opinion, it is not worth buying from blogshops. We rather buy legit brands where you can be sure of the quality, style and sizes. You might think Topshop or New Look quality is compromised too and so why not buy something cheaper but stylish. We beg to differ. There is a clear difference in quality. Much more, you can try and touch the items in a real shop. Also you are protected when you shop in a real shop or even Ebay!

If you are a supporter of individuals evading tax for their profit, do continue blog shopping. Have a good day. ;-p

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