Do you remember that Taobao order review I did late last year? Well today I am finally able to bring you part 2 of that order review, because that single shop that was holding up my order has finally sent me the items. And I will now reveal that the shop in question was Akilya, who are an accessory and jewellery Taobao store.
I had actually already had a fairly negative experience with Akilya before. I previously placed an order with Akilya but after a few weeks decided to cancel my order with them because it was holding up the rest of my order and I was getting a bit impatient. But I foolishly decided to give Akilya a second chance.
The order in question was placed on the 18th of October (the other stuff I ordered can be seen in my review here) and the main intention of this order was to get some Christmas presents. Knowing that Akilya could be slow, I thought I would order really early so that there was no real excuse for the items not to arrive in time. I had seen the passive aggressive message on Akilya's home page (google translate tells me that basically she is moaning about how she is only one person, life is hard etc... Kind of makes you wonder why she is running a Taobao store in the first place!) but I know that when I place an order, my Taobao Spree agent Ray will give me a time estimate for each item ordered. So I got the first email back from Ray and he tells me that the Akilya items would take a total of 7 days to complete.
Now, 7 days is not a grand amount of time and it was based on this time frame I was given- which Akilya's owner herself had estimated- I decided to go ahead and order. After all, I still had a decent amount of time before I started needing to worry and it wouldn't matter if Akilya took a bit longer than stated. What I wasn't prepared for was just how slow Akilya would be. About 2 weeks after I placed my order, I asked Ray how things were coming along and he told me that he had every item, apart from the stuff from Akilya. I asked Ray if he could get an update from Akilya, so I had a rough idea of when to expect my items and the response was "the end of November" or to put things in to perspective, 6 weeks after I initially placed my order. I was starting to get a bit worried because 1 week had already turned in to 6 times that. In the end, I made the decision that I would split my order so Ray could send me the stuff he already had. So now I had to pay out for 2 lots of shipping, just because 1 shop was holding everything up. Suddenly, those reasonably priced accessories were costing a whole lot more.
I emailed Ray at the end of November to see if there was any sign of my accessories and the answer was no! I was told it would take about another 2 weeks and by now I was really panicking. Even with fast shipping, it wasn't guaranteed that my items would arrive in time for Christmas. After 2 weeks I emailed once again and Ray said it would take another few days. And then because of Christmas slowing down the mail, it took a while to arrive at Taobao Spree's office. The items finally arrived on Christmas Eve, which was over 2 months after placing my initial order. How on earth does 1 single week suddenly turn in to over 2 months!? After paying out for the more expensive shipping option (Ray warned me slower mail was more likely to get lost at this time of year), my items were finally shipped out on Christmas Day. The parcel arrived on the 30th of December. I suppose you are wondering why I didn't bother to cancel my order with Akilya and the answer is that I was constantly being promised by Ray that the items were coming and I had been unable to find suitable alternatives for the items I ordered. As time went on, I grew more and more stressed and had to resort to giving my friends I.O.U cards in place of their Christmas presents. But what really bugged me was the attitude of the shop owner. She clearly does not care at all about her poor customer service (just reading her home page confirms this) and it was left to Ray to apologise on her behalf.
My order was placed inside plastic wrapping and then wrapped up in bubble wrap and a bubble envelope. Taobao Spree chucked in a free pearl bracelet as well, although I doubt I will use it. The packaging was done well and up to Taobao Spree's usual standards.
So... after having so much time to make 4 accessories, you would think that the quality would be amazing. Well, despite seeing worse quality, the items I got were very disappointing. I have looked over the items and I really don't understand how it could have taken so long to make these items and I am convinced Akilya rushed to make the items at the last minute.
First up is this headpiece that I got to match Sweetie Violet.
The hair band is big enough to fit comfortably on an adult's head. However, I did feel the white hair band looked a bit dingy and dull, as if it wasn't brand new. I can't really fault the lace that makes the base of the hair accessory. It isn't the greatest of quality, but the lace is super soft and had no fraying. The pattern on the lace was crisp.
I am really not impressed by this pink bow. The ribbon is super shiny and by feeling it, you can tell the material is very cheap. The heart in the middle of the bow are bog-standard ones that I have seen sold super cheap. The bow is also slightly wonky and no matter how hard I try, I am unable to mold it back in to shape. The fake flowers are also of a low quality. A lot of the petals were misshapen and one petal was almost falling off, so I am going to have to glue or sew that back in place.
The bottom bow is slightly better. The ribbon is still shiny, but you can tell it is of a better quality than the other ribbon bow. The pearls are a nice touch too. The ribbon ends were sealed off well, so there was no fraying.
To be fair, I did think the hair accessory looked a lot better when I tried it on and I was happy with the way it looked. But when you look really close, you can see it is cheaply made.
Next up is the hat I also got to match Sweetie Violet. The straw hat is of a pretty standard quality. It is nothing special but serves quite nicely as a base hat for this accessory. Going over the top of the hat is 2 thick lines of ribbon. The ribbon is a little shiny and I wish it had been a bit narrower, but it is of a reasonable quality. However, I did notice that the ribbon is not spaced out in a neat cross and hadn't been secured to the base hat that well. It doesn't look too bad in this photo, but the cross really isn't neat and evenly spaced out in real life. I wasn't expecting Akilya to get out their protractors and rulers to make sure it is 100% straight, but you would think she would pay a little bit more attention to detail, especially given how long they had to perfect this hat.
The fake flowers are the same as the ones on the headdress so of the same low quality. The bow underneath is very cute though. However, the other little bow on the side has a frayed end.
I like the use of ribbon and pearls around the base of the hat but it has been done in such a messy way. You can clearly see a crease where the ribbon ends. Would it have really been so difficult to cover the ends somehow?
The ribbon is also quite loose and poorly attached to the hat, so there are loose puckered bits.
The lace is of a reasonable quality but I think it is a bit of a strange choice to use star themed lace. It doesn't match the rest of the hat at all.
The hat has 2 alligator clips underneath to help secure it in place. I found it held the hat reasonably well on my head and the clips were well placed.
I randomly found this in the bag in the headdress bag and it is at least decent of Akilya to offer spare pearls. I am not sure what the other thing is for though? It looks like it might be wax, so I am guessing it is to seal the ribbon ends.
And as a bonus, this is what the accessories look like against my Sweetie Violet JSK. Ignore the shoes, I just wanted to see how they looked next to the dress and I didn't realise just how different the colour was.
So overall, the items I got were okay and would have been worth the price if I hadn't had to pay extra for the shipping. But the super long wait I had after being told it would take one week and the stress involved was not worth it. I am never ordering from Akilya ever again and I have deleted all my Akilya links in my Taobao folder. It is a shame because Akilya has lots of pretty accessories which compliment Angelic Pretty pieces brilliantly. But if anybody was thinking of taking a chance on Akilya I would say prepare to be kept waiting. Seriously, don't do it.