Social Media: Brands Scamming On Instagram?

Hello all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! I am back with another post and I did promise something more serious!

Instagram Has Scams!?

Disclaimer: This post is based on an experience that the writer had and basing it off of other experiences people had in the past. Please respect her thoughts and opinions.

Yes! Say it isn’t so! And I kind of experienced it. The thing is that apparently some brands are going around on Instagram to gather people for their Affiliate Links and Ambassador Programs and some of them don’t give what you want if you paid for it or say “No Purchase Necessary” but you had to purchase it yourself and not straight forward about it. Let me tell you my story.

So, this was right after I bought the Urban Decay Beached Eye Shadow Pallet and I did a look using the teal, the blue, one of the dark brown shades, and Blaze and posted it on Instagram. I got the usual likes and new people liking it until two comments came up, one was from a sunglasses company called Hash Tag Sunglasses and the other one was from a box subscription called Yes Oh Yas! They commented that my look is awesome and that they want me to be an affiliate with them. What was interesting with the one from Yes Oh Yas said, “Contact me so we can get you started and send you a box?” I was sold mostly on Yes Oh Yas because I have been missing Ipsy and Boxy Charm while Hash Tag Sunglasses was an if in my book.

So I and the rep from YOhY talked and she told me that there is no purchase necessary, we give you a code for your followers, and we don’t really ship worldwide and so on. I decided to go with it and leave my address and she did give me a website to sign up on and I go through the process and yes I looked into it and the products looked amazing, you even get a full-size brush set or pallet and other things. I was hoping that the box was going to arrive soon and apparently I found out the hard way that they don’t send boxes for free. Yes, not for free for review. I even confirmed with the official Facebook page and they said the same thing in response. What got me was that they sent a code in the email saying, “Here is your 10% Off Code for your subscription and your friends.” I thought I was getting a free box at first because that is what no purchase necessary meant, even contest rules are the same thing for many companies. I was mad! I felt like I was used even because most affiliate programs would be more up front which I will go to next.

So, with Hash Tag Sunglasses, on the other hand, is different. Again they did the same comment, well almost the same, and I PMed them on IG about it and they said go to the website in my profile and I did and signed up. They send me an email saying, “Thanks for signing up! Look through our designs and we will give you a code to use for our Ambassador Rate and after ordering we will let you have a custom code for your followers.” So, I found the Cat Eye Style with the brown and leopard colors and email them back and they give me the code and I did explain that I didn’t have my deposit yet until June 1st, can I just order then? They let me and when I got the deposit I did put in the order and it went from $53 to $27 which is not bad because a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses go for more than that! I did email them with what I want my code to be and apparently I sent it twice, it was supposed to be 10% off but it’s now 20% somehow. I was cool with it and a few days later my package is shipped. While it was going through shipment, I was looking on the net about this company and guess what happened? There were videos about them going through a scam with this company, one was from last year and the other was more recent. I know better to look into things very deeply and finding that YohY was more trustworthy except for some reviews which I will get into later. Trust me, after watching the videos which the first was the one from last year saying that she didn’t get her order and it was after the two week time span and that a few other people went through the same thing. I figured that it was a year ago and probably they had issues for being a new brand or had high volume which happens. The most interesting part to it that made it more long time ago idea in my head was that the codes that they gave everyone was the same to use for not just purchasing which was a first time code but for the discount code for friends and followers which was “New Shades For you10!” The girl did ask I think in the second video, “If you are an affiliate, don’t you get a custom code?” Which I did get a custom code which was good.

Did it ring some bells? Yes! I decided to contact the company for questions because I was worried even with the glasses being sent from China of all places which I looked into they mostly come from different warehouses around the world. Also what rang my bell was that there was no tracking that anyone got which the first person said it was because of the free shipping bit. A little bit of news about that! Even if you have something with free shipping attached, from my experiences of buying from EBay, Amazon with some free shippers, and even Color Pop when I reached the $30 limit and even NYX once, you get a tracking number no matter what! I did get a tracking number actually which gave me some relief and did send that email anyways and I got a big response saying which I will summarize, “What are in those videos might not be true, we do have high order volumes and sometimes packages may be delayed!’ Which is true, even around holidays that happens, I even had it happen once in 2007 when I ordered something for Gondras for his birthday and you know how hard it is during Christmas. They even mentioned how they have been around for a long time, well four years, and they do deliver on their products which is also great relief on my end which is true since I did get my sunglasses in the mail last Thursday. And the second person did get her sunglasses too in the mail but she wasn’t happy with them which I was happy with them. What was also a sweet relief was that they also sell at the Galleria Mall in the Chic NYC store where you can see them in person if you need to.

What Is My Verdict?

Well, I feel like some companies do work hard and not all of them are scams on the internet. Yes, it was kind of weird knowing that my sunglasses were coming from China which I think they had to be made there and they did say on their website that depending on the style it would come from a warehouse worldwide. It did get to me within the two weeks’ time because that is usually the time that I buy anything from China or Hong Kong gets to me whether I get it on EBay or Amazon, heck it took longer when I ordered the Smell of Weather Turning from Lush UK! So, I knew where it was coming and I did get my tracking number and it did update when it got to New York and then when it delivered. The only complaint I have is the text messaging updates I never received because I figured I could track my package if it was coming or not. I did bring up to them and they did say, “I think we had the wrong address on file but we are glad that your sunglasses arrived. For future purchases just email us.” Which seems a bit off because I gave them the right address and they came to right one even though that can happen with one wrong typo. Unless the shipping service got it wrong while going through the process of being shipped. I don’t know what happened but hoping if I were to buy again then I will double check on spelling and hoping to get text updates. Which that brings me to the next point.

The customer service I receive even while explaining the Affiliate Program was way straighter forward than the Yes Oh Yas people. How so? Like I said above, with YOhY, they didn’t tell me that I was supposed to subscribe to their box when they said “No purchase necessary.” Or required which was another bit of wording used later. If only customer service came to reply within hours through Facebook like they said or in a day by saying, “Sorry! I don’t know why that rep told you that! You need to subscribe in order to get our box while signing up is free to get your referral codes.” Rather than be vague about it. While Sunglasses, they were more up front with me talking about how the Affiliate Program works and how to get your first pair which you had to buy with a code and then come up with a custom one for your followers which is pretty fair in my book. Even Chic NYC was the same way since they also came up to me but their prices…yeah…not in my range even at the Ambassador Rate. Hey, at least I’m working with one of their other companies and as a blind person I have to protect my remaining vision at all costs especially around summer and winter when the sun is super bright. I do love my accessories even jewelry if you may have seen my cosplays.

All I do have to say after those two videos, maybe HTSunglasses did change over time and was getting used to having affiliates. I am not sure what happens behind the scenes but it did throw me off with how the text updates didn’t work but hey at least their customer service did give me an answer even to my worries. I may have to visit their Galleria Mall shop if I get to stay in South Florida for more than one day because I want to see how other styles are like in person since I can feel them in my hand. I will still work with this company and yes I got a lot to learn about different people on Instagram from different brands I will keep my guard up. While Yes Oh Yas, they won’t get any business from me after feeling like I was duped for something. Yes, their Ambassador Program would have get a dollar for every person to sign up but not sure if that is for real and wouldn’t be more fair to send out the ambassadors a free box once and then talk about the product on the blog which I wanted to in the first place and see how the audience would feel and want to trust what the company provides. That is why Ipsy and BoxyCharm, even Allure and Sephora, get the following that they do with their own boxes. Which I am thinking of going back with Ipsy soon because I miss having the little makeup bags of stuff and trying out something new even in a small size which gives me an idea of what is similar in the stores or if I can get that NYX item or Hikari item somewhere. Another thing as well, some of the products I noticed with some reviews are also repeated in other subscriptions too especially with Bella Pierre products, which I’d rather go with Ipsy and Boxy for those items. And I also read a few Facebook reviews and some were not great, I did talk about my experience on their alongside someone else becoming an Affiliate except they got blocked which is not good. Sorry YOhY, you get a thumbs down in my book.

And if you guys want to check out Hash Tag Sunglasses, you can and if you want to use my code, I included it in the Affiliates page and will include it here which is blueuniverse20 which makes sense since my name is Mari Blue Cat and for my blog name. And I did say I started with the Cat Eye Style glasses with the leopard print. They do have many other styles even for men and kids in case if you need to get them a pair. And again, it does take two weeks to ship so just be patient and if you are in Fort Lauderdale, they are also available at Chic NYC store.

Well, that is it for this post! Stay tuned for another book review! Hold on tight!

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