Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Little Black Bag

Let's talk about Little Black Bag.  To recap for those of you new here Little Black Bag is a new subscription service with a twist.  You purchase your bag but then you have 7 days to trade your items with other members.
Huh?  It goes like this:

You can choose to do this monthly for $49.95 plus $4.95 shipping and tax (CA & NY) which brings it to roughly $59 or you can do a one time bag purchase for $59.95 plus $4.95 shipping and tax (CA & NY).  It works like this.  You take a style quiz and they pick a "bag" for you based on your answers.  Once you take the quiz you get to see a gallery of items ranging in value as of today from $10-$100 and you get to pick one thing you want.  Once you pick your one thing the company will choose 1-3 more items for you.  You bag will always have a value of at least $100.  They will tell you the brand and value but you don't get to see the items until you commit to buy the bag.  Once you click purchase the contents are revealed.  This is where the fun begins!  You can keep all the items in your bag OR go back into the gallery and pick items you want to trade.  The trade request is then sent to the person(s) with that item and they can choose to reject or accept your request.  You can trade one item for one item or if there is something you really want you can trade multiple items.  On the flip side you will also receive trade offers from people who want your items.  The trading period is open for 7 days and new items are added daily so you really should check the site at least once a day.  If you are happy with your items anytime within those 7 days you can choose to ship your bag right away.  Or you can do like I do and wait until trading has closed because you never know what you're going to find!  At the end of the trading period they company ships your items and you get your treasures!

The good:

Like to shop? This definitely fills the shopping need.  It feels like you are shopping every time you check the website and look for items to trade or trade items with other members.

The value.  Your bag is guaranteed to be worth at least $100.  My February bag retail value was $192 and my March bag retail value was $164  

Brands.  The brands are very well known brands.  Kenneth Cole, Disney, RJ Graziano, Perline, R&Em and many more.  The also put the retail price next to the item so you know approx. value.  

Multiple Item.  You can score multiple items and use them as gifts at a fraction of the cost!

Variety. They have handbags, sunglasses, cell phone cases, earrings, necklaces, vases, wallets, nail polish, makeup, home items. Basically you will find something you like.  

Skip a month?  Don't want a bag this month, then skip it. You have 5 days to skip the month.  If for some reason you forget to skip you will be charged for the bag but will get double the items the following month.

Need a gift? Send them a little black bag.  You purchase the bag and the company sends the receipient and email saying they received a gift.  Who wouldn't love picking out their own treasures!  And what a unique gift!  

Not satisfied with the item you received?  LBB will let you return the item for a exchange or refund.  The refund will be prorated based on the numbers of items in your bag and priced paid.  I sent a couple of items back for an exchange and the process was fairly painless.  I had to pay for the return shipping but received items in next bag equal to the value of the item I sent back.      

The not so good:

The price.  Yes $50 a month is a little pricey but if you break it down by item it's not so bad.  Also you can use it to find gifts or just skip a month.  

Pictures. The show pictures of the items and list the sizes but I would like to see them on a model (real or fake) to see the scale.  I have received a couple of pairs of earrings that were bigger than I thought they were going to be.    

Joining.  They company allows you to take the style quiz but to actually open your "bag" right away you have to invite 5 friends or post the link on facebook.  The other option is to wait for an email from them which takes about a day.  I personally don't like the idea of spamming my friends with email or posting stuff on facebook without knowing more about the product so I chose to wait for the email.  Once I did sign up I sent an invite to a friend and they still required her to send emails to friends to see her bag.  I think if someone sends you an invite you should be allowed immediate access. 

Time: In my opinion you need to really be on top of the emails to get the best deals.  I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I can check my email frequently can really stay of top my trading for the 7 day period.   

It's addicting.  Nuff said

Here are the pics from from my April bag.  

My little black bags arrived in a big white box. 

All my Little Black Bag treasures!

These are the laptop/ipad cases I received.

Here are the jewelry/makeup items I received.

My April bag was a little wonky as I had sent back 3 items from previous bags so I had "extra" items.  I removed those items from my pictures and didn't include their value since it was sort of a re-purchase.  I also received a $25 item for a referral (Thanks Denise C.!).  So when I opened my April bag I had 4 items (not including the exchange items).  And again this month I didn't keep any of the things I actually started with.         

1. R&Em laptop case - retail value $44
2. Urban Expression sequin ipad sleeve - retail value $25 (this was the value of my referral item!)
3. R&Em leopard ipad case - retail value $38
4. Mineralogie liquid eyeliner - retail value $18
5. Zad Leaf earrings - retail value $14
6. Zad peacock feather necklace - retail value $26
7. Robert Rose teardrop stone earrings - retail value $18
8. Zad leaf bangles set of 3 - retail value $26
9. Cargo cosmetics color palette - retail value $28
10. Zad star hammered earrings in silver- retail value $14
11. RJ Graziano threaded hoop earrings - retail value $35
12. Mineralogie new raven eye pencil - retail value $16
13. Zad star hammered earrings in gold - retail value $14
14. Lydell NYC yellow square earrings - retail value $28
15. Robert Rose Woven thread earrings - retail value $12
16. Lydell NYC Chandelier earrings - retail value $16
17. Mineralogie pressed eye shadow compact - retail value $38
18. Robert Rose multi row seed bead cuff - retail value $22

I worked crazy hard at trading to get all these items.  Admittedly the "extra" items (exchage/free item) I had probably gave me more trading options as I had more items to offer up.  Also I started with a cross body bag that was worth about $50 but then decided I didn't really want it.  I was getting multiple item trade offers for the purse which allowed me to get more items then trade up from there. 
So as you can see I received $432 worth of goodies for $53.16 after shipping and tax (I had a 10% off code).  I know most people don't pay retail and I'm sure some of this can be found on sale but even the best bargain hunter would be hard pressed to find these 18 items for 53 bucks. 

Verdict: I'm going to continue with Little Black Bag because it's crazy fun!

**I pay for these services myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Little Black Bag**

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