Thursday, 18 October 2012

BRIDES ON A BUDGET - BEWARE!

 I belong to a few Bridal Forums. They're a great to see what the Brides and Grooms of today are looking for and stay 'current'.
It's a place where we (as suppliers) can offer our gods and services and also a place where Brides can come for questions they may need help with.

There's a huge range of questions but most of all the Bride starts their request off with 
"I'm on a very tight budget.........
(Followed by what they are looking for) 

This really plays on my mind, because I have known so many Brides ripped off by unscrupulous traders 
offering a so called "Bargain". 

Here's one example.....

Kayleigh happened to mention in a Facebook Bridal group that she had been ripped off by someone in Scotland offering her 
a Bargain Priced Crystal Bouquet!
Kayleigh liked what she saw on the sellers page and ordered a few! Of course, the supplier wanted paying 'up front'. The Bouquets arrived and were found to be plastic, not crustal and of a very poor quality. 

Kayleigh complained, by writing numerous email s and leaving messages on Facebook. It didn't help. The supplier did not answer and when she did, she said that she had never had any complaints before. I got on her case, put Kayleigh in touch with Trading Standards... but the woman simply closed her page down.... Gone.... just like that.... and overnight. Taking Kayleighs and probably lots of other peoples money with them.

Then there was a on-line shop, offering very cheap, branded Wedding Dresses at a fraction of the original  price. The Brides could secure their dress of their dreams by paying just £100 deposit... of course, word got round and Brides flocked to pay their hard earned cash. This went on for a few months. The company opened new websites, with new names and still the money poured in... with expectant Brides anxiously awaiting their dresses. You can imagine what happened next. 
Yes.... once again... the websites closed and the companies vanished without a trace. Some Brides had paid in full

The Police are involved and Brides have been hit all around the country. Some loosing hundreds of pounds. And I could tell you so many stories like this..... but I'll leave that until another time. 

Let's get back to Kayleigh. She was a little embarrassed to tell me she had also been ripped of by a pretty well known company. Their website looks pretty good and you wouldn't know if from the web address.... but this company is based in China! Her cards arrived, the glossy mustard coloured card is pretty awful, you can't write on them so the company have to supply a pen with each order.... and even worse, when they came they were English one side which said Happy Wedding and on the other it was Portuguese!  No kidding!
She could have returned them, but I expect the chance of a refund would have been VERY slim and the postage would have cost a fortune. So the cards she bought at a very good price, were in fact unusable. 

I offered to rescue them as best I could.... 
but there was nothing for it but to make a whole new insert.
A bit of a pain in the bum, because the size was a really awkward size. The picture below shows the company's 
on the left from http://lightinthebox.com
And my newly designed on on the right.....



Kayleigh has just returned to me for her 
Evening Invitations....


And 50 Wedding Scrolls to be used as little favours.



I try and do my best to advise Brides when buying their Wedding stuff. I'm planning on writing some posts in the near future about this exact subject.... in the hopes that it at least saves some Brides a great deal of money.

In my opinion, if a deal sounds too good to be true....
 it very usually is! BUYER BEWARE!

What advice would you give a Bride 
to save her from getting ripped off?

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