Are Your Favorite Stores Being Loyal To You?

Are Your Favorite Stores Being Loyal To You?

Some free promotional offers and rewards can seem too good to be true.
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Do you feel like you are loyal to certain companies yet sometimes that loyalty isn’t being reciprocated?

You shop there often (online or in stores), you have signed up for their rewards program, you have added your name to their email list and follow and like their social media pages. Bottomline you are a very loyal customer. Yet, those same stores are misleading some of their best customers with promotional offers they can’t seem to fulfill. I had this experience with three stores I am extremely loyal to. I made some noise about it to management and actually had a beneficial outcome. Read on!

1. MAC Cosmetics

On June 29, MAC Cosmetics was advertising that in honor of “National Lipstick Day” they would be giving away one free lipstick per person. Their lipsticks retail for $17 and are a great quality so the promotion sounded too good to be true! Need I say more? My sisters (also huge fans of MAC Cosmetics) and I arrived at the MAC counter at Macy’s, in our local mall, just as the mall was opening at 10AM. Already the line wrapped around the store and by 10:20 they informed us that all the free lipsticks were gone. We asked if their would be a raincheck or if they would be substituting another product in lieu of the lipstick but the MAC salesperson just shrugged her shoulders and said no and that they weren’t expecting the turnout they had received. Since I have spent countless hours at MAC buying makeup, taking the classes they offer (for a fee) and having my makeup done for special events I felt it warranted to complain to them about the offer they could not seem to make good on. Within minutes I was given a $25 dollar gift certificate to Macy’s which could be used at Macy’s and/or the MAC counter at anytime in the future. Since MAC makeup is quite expensive, that was a win for me!

2. Victoria's Secret/PINK

This summer I was looking to purchase a few pieces of lounge wear (online) from Victoria Secret/PINK. As usual, they were offering a promotion. If you spent a certain amount of money you would automatically get a free item (a PINK personal fan) added to your shopping bag. Note: this was the first day this promotion was being offered. The items I ordered arrived a few days later but they said the free item was backordered and would be shipped at a later date. A few days later I received another notification from Victoria Secrets saying the item was discontinued. Backordered, now discounted after the first day of the promotion?! I didn’t need the free item but it was the principal of the matter. Both my sisters and I have been extremely loyal customers of Victoria Secrets/Pink I had just spent over $75 on full priced items. So I called the 800 phone number to complain and they quickly appeased me by sending me a $15 gift card. Needless to say I quickly spent the $15 (and then some) but I was satisfied with the result and happy I had made the time to make the call to customer service.

3. Abercrombie & Fitch

I have been shopping in Abercrombie & Fitch for many years. I like their style of clothes and find their items to be very well made. Last spring, they started promoting a jewelry line. Right around that time they offered a promotion where you would receive a free piece of jewelry with a $50 purchase. I was excited because you got to pick the item you wanted (up to a $14 retail value) and the jewelry was something I would definitely wear. I made my purchase online but picked up the package in the store. When I opened the package, the free jewelry item was not enclosed. When I asked the salesgirl they said it was out of their control since it was an online order. I was a bit confused since they had just told me they had filled the order in the store. When I got home I called customer service and spoke to at least four different people within an hour period of time but finally I was able to get to the right person and eventually they sent me the free jewelry promotion. I love the necklace!

If I hadn’t been such a loyal customer of the above three stores I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to complain to customer service and pursue the offers. But as a loyal customer and consumer I feel these companies should not be enticing customers with offers and then falling short in the delivery of those offers.

The bottomline is that consumers need to beware of companies like these and don’t let them deceive you! Call them out if they are not servicing you as promised. Besides, your loyalty is what keeps them profitable and in business.

Cover Image Credit: B&T Magazine

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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8 Reasons I'll Take In-Store Shopping Over Online Shopping Any Day

In-store shopping shouldn't be disregarded.

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Lately, there have been many department stores closing due to the rise of online shopping as opposed to in-store shopping. According to Fox Business, this includes department stores such as Payless, Gymboree, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Dress Barn. The close of so many retail stores has led to more questions as to whether online shopping will become the only method of shopping.

However, just like with reading on a Kindle versus reading an actual book, not everyone prefers shopping online. At least, I don't prefer online shopping, and yes, I have tried shopping online for almost everything.

Here are eight reasons why shopping in the store will always be better than online shopping, no matter what other people have stated.

1. You can try on clothes

Clothes

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This is one of the biggest problems I have with online shopping! You can't try on the clothes before buying them online. Sure, you can try on the clothes you get once they've been shipped. But if you have trouble finding the right size, especially since for women every size in almost any store varies, then it becomes more of a hassle.

Yes, a lot of online shopping sites have a "find the right size" menu where it gives you multiple measurements that match certain sizes. But most of those measurements include waist, hip, stomach sizes, and who has time to measure all of that?

2. You can expect what you're going to get

Shopping

Becca McHaffie / Unsplash

With in-store shopping, you usually know what you get with buying an item. You know what the item looks like from seeing it in person, or with clothes you've felt the fabric and seen what it looks like in person. With online shopping, you basically don't know for sure what to expect until you receive the item in the mail. There are a lot of sites that may try to scam you where they'll present you with a clothing item that looks nice on the model until you receive it and it looks nothing like what you saw online. At least with in-store shopping, this doesn't happen as often.

3. No shipping expenses

Cost

Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

The nice part with in-store shopping is you don't have to spend extra expenses on shipping. Although there are times when online shopping sites offer free shipping, on some sites, it's hard to find free shipping. And on a lot of sites, they will try to offer free shipping only if you buy items that are $50 or more, which means you have to pay for more to receive free shipping.

4. No wait to receive what you buy

Shipped Box

Tyler / Flickr

The great part about in-store shopping is you get the item right away, unless you ask for the item to be ordered in the store. With online shopping, you have to wait for the item to be sent. And although there are some shipping options that allow one-day shipping, you'll sometimes be charged more to receive the item early. With in-store shopping, at least you get the outfit you want or item you need as soon as you pay for it.

5. You can avoid additional shipping hazards

Shipping

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There are a lot of other shipping hassles that you have to go through besides waiting for the item to be shipped and the cost of shipping. You also have to worry about the item getting lost in the mail or if you'll receive it at the right address. And sometimes the item can get damaged during transit, which makes you feel like you wasted all of your money on buying the it.

6. You can speak to a sales representative in person

Sales Representative

Blake Wisz / Unsplash

This is especially helpful for buying bras or a dress. With in-store shopping, you can talk to a sales representative and get their opinion before buying the item. Sure, online shopping has someone you can talk to online, but it's not the same since you aren't talking to them in person or trying on the clothes in front of them. With in-store shopping, they can give you advice when you try on the item and offer you alternatives if it doesn't fit, whereas with online shopping, they can only offer you general advice without seeing you try on the item.

7. The option to pay with cash

Cash

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

If you hate paying with a debit card, then you probably would prefer in-store shopping. The problem with online shopping is that you can't pay with cash since you can't exactly transfer real money online except through a debit card. With in-store shopping, you at least always have the option of paying with cash.

8. You miss the experience of shopping in person

Shopping

freestocks.org / Unsplash

Lastly, what most people don't seem to understand is that with online shopping, you don't get the whole experience with in-store shopping. You don't get to walk through a mall, try on clothes, finger through the fabric, or see clothes or items in person. Instead, you have to sit behind a computer and shop. Though many people may like online shopping because you don't have to go through the hassle of dealing with people or lines in a store, you still miss out on real experiences with shopping.

So many people are already found in their houses behind a computer screen or buried in their phones. We already miss out on real experiences because we're too caught up in the digital world. So why should we do the same with shopping?

As you can see, shopping in person can have its own benefits to it. I'm not saying that online shopping is completely bad where you may not be able to purchase the item in the store. However, I also don't think that in-store shopping should be disregarded for online shopping. Not everyone enjoys shopping online completely, and by getting rid of in-store shopping, we miss out on the many different experiences that come with it.

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