Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shopping SABOtage


If you haven't heard of Sabo Skirt, then you must be lying; chances are you have liked their whimsical Instagram entries or reblogged their viral Tumblr photos or simply took a glimpse, whether consciously or otherwise, of their photos. In fact, if anyone is keeping tabs, their photos are in the running for the most reblogged fashion inspirations in all of Tumblr-land. I have Instagram to thank for this chance encounter (and friends who keep on liking their photos, making them feed staples haha).

Just like anyone I asked, I initially thought Sabo Skirt is an account dedicated to anything dreamy, sophisticated and cute. When I finally checked the official website, it's a treasure trove of Teen Vogue-worthy pieces stashed in the land down under!

As early as January this year (and I know this because I reviewed my email archive), I have been going back and forth with my decision to purchase; I'm gonna have to give it to our local customs bureau for being outright corrupt. I have read horror stories about Customs charging unreasonable taxes and duties for non-luxury items and clothing. Reckoned the hassle is not at all worth a piece of beautifully crafted Guns 'N Roses tank even if it looks vintage-d to perfection. Besides, it won't be long until some other retail giant pirates this design. Move along, Ana.

But Wait! Their SALE section houses equally, intricately-crafted pieces that brought me to my knees before the fashion gods, fervently hoping for a miracle. Sticking out like a sore thumb from a selection of romantic silhouettes was an LBD fit for Courtney Love's grunge princess. It features a set of shoulder pads and cutouts linked to the sleeves of the bodice. Think tame and wearable Lady Gaga dress. That piece became THE definitive design of a clothing line that was ready for roll-out. If only I had the sketching skills to match. Why dyou think I'd name my blog Rocket Queen Riot for? Yep, that's what I thought. After a while, I came to the conclusion that not only is that dress not replicable (the design is too complicated and can go horribly wrong when executed in a wrong type of fabric), I also do not want to blatantly copy other young designer's work. Maybe in time, I will finally incite my own little riot.

After a few email exchanges with the Customer Care Team, (impeccable customer service, by the way) I decided not to pursue my little Sabo mission. Created an account anyway and immediately included THE dress inside my cart just in case I change my mind.

Sabo Skirt Revisited. On the tail end of July I managed to find my way back to my little happy place in cyberspace. Only this time, they were on a massive sale. RIGHT. My favorite pieces all made the cut except for the grunge dress that did not survive the previous sale season. After weeks of thorough investigation on shipping and delivery and random instagram surveys targeting previous buyers regarding sizing and quality, I was ready to order.

Upon logging in, I noticed I had 1 ITEM inside my card (THE grunge dress form way back) and then I recalled their permanent shopping cart feature. I had a notification to confirm the availability of the item first before checking out, which the Customer care team addressed instantly. I had to wait for a day for them to locate any spare dress in their warehouse AND THANK GOD there was one left! Not exactly my size but will make do with what's available.

I settled my dues evening of August 8 (local time) and was advised to wait for 5-10 business days before receiving my orders. Sacrifice order, I kept reminding myself in any case of altercations with customs and postal service that could potentially be the cause for delivery failure.

Tried tracking the package via the PHL post website, of course, it's not working. Per Sabo Skirt's email, packages can only be tracked after it has been released from Philippine Customs. DUNN-DUNN-DUNNN. 7 days and no trace, I had to give it the 10th business day deadline before I alert the local post office.

Yesterday (August 20), I had to run errands (in line with the best, exciting, but still unofficial news from work!) and decided to take a detour to my local post office to ask for assistance in tracking. Problem was, I left the tracking code at home so I asked the lady if she can help me given the limited information. I told her I was expecting a package from Australia this week, she asked for the approximate size of the package then I told her I was not sure of the size but it shouldn't take much space because it only contains clothes. She stood up from her desk. Talked/signalled something to the lady on the next cubicle then placed a hefty white package on her table before dusting it off. I thought she was attending to the lady next cubicle, then she turned to me and said it just arrived a few hours ago. MY HEART WAS POURING. I KEEP ON RELIVING THIS MOMENT INSIDE MY HEAD. She collected 50 pesos, and that's it! (Package was scheduled to be delivered to my house as soon as the weather clears up.)

It was a surreal, perfect moment.


Customer Care: Queries are addressed within 48 hours and they have provided a comprehensive FAQs and other relevant information, all available on their website. 

Delivery time: Based on my survey, some packages could take up to 3 months (US, EUR). But generally speaking, packages arrive sooner than expected. They dispatch items real quick so be sure to finalize your orders before checking out. I sent a follow up email asking if it is still possible to exchange sizes (I ALWAYS go for the next size up for rompers because they usually fall short and this goes for all clothing brands) but I was immediately notified that my items were shipped the previous morning. Shipping to the Philippines took 7 business days.

Sizing: True-to-size. I had different sizes delivered since I was left with a size S for the black dress but EVERY SINGLE ITEM fits me PERFECTLY. The dress was a bit stretchy but even if it wasn't, Im sure it would still fit. Nyahaaa! Their sizing leaves enough room for movement so the romper (my only romper that I bought in my actual size) fits PERFECTLY as well. I bought another white dress in Medium which is designed to be a little baggy and true enough, it was a slightly loose but looks great and fits even better. 

Overall, no issue in sizing. Make sure to check the finer details section for every item. It would also help to engage in a little convo via instagram with ladies and shoppers all over the world who are willing to offer their opinions. I suggest you order your actual size.

Style and Quality: The clothes are nothing short of amazing. What you see is what you get. The materials and fabric did not disappoint; I was actually surprised with the quality and texture of fabrics. For the black cut out dress, the fabric could compete with that of Topshop or Miss Selfridge. 

Pricing: Items listed in the sale section are quite a steal so make sure to capitalize on that! They also charge a standard shipping flat rate of AUD 15 for international orders so maximize as much as you can. However, they do not render returns and exchange services for sale items so make sure to triple check in terms of sizing and details. 

Cons: PayPal's ForEx can cost you an arm and a leg so  add Php 1.00 give or take per dollar. This can be your shock absorber. Do not psych yourself and convert using the current exchange rate because credit card companies charge a tad higher than the usual. I went over 300Php (Approx $6.50) from my estimated/computed total. 

No comments: