BaubleBar x Anthropologie Ixora Blossoms Necklace

Remember when I mentioned how awesome Baublebar’s customer service is?

Well, BaubleBar randomly sent me a surprise package on a rainy day toward the end of last month. At first , I thought it was some gifts I’d ordered from them the previous day, but the shipping time seemed impossible. It turns out they’d sent me their BaubleBar x Anthropologie Ixora Blossoms Necklace completely out of the blue.

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It even came with a nice handwritten note:

Hi [Lacquerfiend] –

As soon as I saw this piece from our new Anthropolog[ie] collection, I immediately thought of you. It’s a little thank you for all your support!

xo Kirby [from BaubleBar’s SWAT Team]

What a lovely surprise – thank you! It’s beautiful:

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The Ixora Blossoms Necklace a versatile accessory that I can see going well with a variety of outfits, and it’s excellent quality for fashion jewelry. It’s got some weight to it, too. The sturdy chain is 33 inches long and what looks like antiqued brass, with clusters of translucent, tomato-red beads that remind me more of chilies strung up to dry than flowers. They rattle softly when you move.

I’ve gotten so many compliments wearing this necklace around.

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Hey, look, it even goes well with my nerd hoodie on weekends. :]

I love the combination of bright, sheer color with a heavier, almost industrial-looking brass chain. It’s a just-right balance of delicate and tough.

The Ixora Blossoms Necklace retails for $48.00 at Anthropologie and is part of a larger collection themed around exotic flowers.

Note: I wrote this post of my own initiative. BaubleBar likely doesn’t know I keep a blog and sent me this necklace without any request for review or advertisement.

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BaubleBar November 2013 Mystery Makeover

Earlier this month, I picked up BaubleBar‘s November Mystery Makeover ($40), which includes their Crystal Dahlia Strand in antique gold, gold, or silver, as well as two mystery pieces. The items together are advertised to have a value of up to $74. I used a 20%-off secret savings code they sent me a while back and was able to nab this for $32.

I chose the silver set, and here’s what I got.

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The Crystal Dahlia Strand ($32) is super sparkly and makes rainbows in the right light. It looks generally well made for its price point – but one of the gems popped off almost as soon as I handled it (gently). Nothing a little E-6000 or epoxy can’t fix, though, so I’m not going to bother BaubleBar about a replacement this time. I might just shoot them an e-mail to let them know what happened, in case it’s a quality control problem.

Close-up in indoor lighting:

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In direct sunlight to show the full sparkle of this necklace, as well as the gem boo-boo (top left-ish)  that needs some glue:

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My two bonus items were two matching bracelets, a silver tear bangle (similar to a rose version currently available for $28) and a stretch bracelet not currently available on the site. It’s somewhat similar to other gem bracelets going for $34 to $36 on the site right now, so I’ll set that as my estimate for full retail price. As usual, these are relatively good-quality costume jewelry, and they’re comparable to the type of accessories you can get at these prices. The tear bangle arrived with a little bald spot in the metal plating, and the gems aren’t all set perfectly, but it’s acceptable and not noticeable unless you look closely. The stretch bracelet has no noticeable flaws.

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That comes out to an estimated total of $66 to $68 full retail value. I wouldn’t pay that for these items by a long shot, but just judging based on the items’ quality on their own, I think they’re worth the $32 I shelled out.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts on my old blog, my experience with BaubleBar’s overall quality has been mixed, and I’ve received jewelry with missing gems or, like this one, with gems that fall out shortly after I take it out of the box, with only gentle handling. On one hand, I think stuff you pay for should come in one piece and stay that way with reasonable use, and you shouldn’t settle for things falling apart. On the other hand, I usually grab this stuff for a pretty good price, and the fixes are usually pretty easy. When problems have been more serious, it’s been super easy to talk to customer service and get it taken care of.

Honestly, I think what’s kept me coming back is the great customer service. For instance, with this box, It was nice of them to mail me a $10 off $30+ code just because the order took them a bit longer than usual to ship (I ordered on 11/13, and it was shipped six days later, instead of the usual one to two days or so). I think that’s important in a business, and as long as I have good experiences with them, and their average quality is at least on par with what I’d expect from similar merchants or at a similar price point, I guess I won’t mind gluing a couple gems now and then.

UPDATE 11/24/13: Whoa, fast! Customer service already got back to me after I reported the issue this morning; they said they’ll be looking into it and appreciated the feedback. It’s apparently the first time they’ve heard of this problem with that necklace. Is it just my bad luck? If you guys order from BaubleBar and encounter any mishaps, I hope you’ll report them, too. Anyway, I’ve already gone ahead and epoxied that stray gem back in place (I love five-minute clear epoxy), and it looks good as new. :]

BaubleBar Mademoiselle Necklace & Mystery Gift

In celebration of Halloween, BaubleBar had a Mystery Gift offer where using the code TREAT would snag you an mystery bonus item (up to a $36 value) with a purchase of $40 or more.

I had an unfortunate experience with BaubleBar with last month’s Mystery Makeover because the Corsage Strand arrived broken, and the replacement I exchanged it for also arrived broken. 😦 That was pretty sad, but BaubleBar’s customer service is great, and they not only completely refunded my money but promised to throw in something extra the next time I made an order. This order was it!

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I ordered the black Mademoiselle Necklace ($42 regularly, currently on sale for $28 as a “Monthly Must” this month), essentially as a replacement for the black Corsage Strand that I had really wished worked out because it’s similar enough that it’ll fill that void of disappointment for now. I just love black jewelry, and this one seems sturdier than the Corsage Strand, thank goodness. I miss the contrast from the gray gems on the Corsage Strand, but the oversized hematite-colored chain links give this one an edgier, bolder look that I like, too. The small rainbow gems are a nice touch. It’s too bad I missed this month’s sale price, but I’m still satisfied with my purchase.

Just as a note,  the site says it’s made of metal and glass, but I’m maybe 90% sure the gems are actually acrylic, not glass. The Mademoiselle Necklace is a little on the higher end of what I’ve bought from BaubleBar before – it’s nicer costume jewelry. Maybe not all the gems are perfectly seated in their settings, and some of the gems have visible casting artifacts, but it’s not all that noticeable unless you’re looking closely. I don’t find those small flaws critical in this type of casual jewelry, and it’s otherwise sturdy, interesting, and plenty sparkly for my purposes, e.g., wearing to work and everyday fun.

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As for the extras, I’m not sure which one’s the Mystery Gift and which one is the extra they gave me to make up for my last order, but they’re both stretch bracelets and roughly interchangeable. I dug around the site trying to look up what items they were, but they don’t appear available for sale right now, though I know I’ve seen them before. One is a red and gold jeweled stretch, and the other is a silver spike stretch with pave accents. As far as I can tell, both are cast metal with acrylic gems, and the stretchy material is that clear kind of plastic elastic. Both are easy to wear with various types of outfits and well made, so I’m happy with them. From what I can tell, similar bracelets on the site go for about $22-38 regular and $18-20 on sale.

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Overall, my customer service experience with BaubleBar has been 100% positive so far, and I feel reassured of the general quality of their items (decent costume jewelry that can be worn in a professional setting), even after that one less fortunate experience. Since then, I’ve also ordered one other necklace (the Fireball Pendant in black & hematite) without any problems, and I received tons of compliments when I wore it today. With the free shipping, frequent rotating deals, and interesting pieces, I’m sure I’ll be back as I expand my collection.