Update: Starting around November, I started noticing a decline in the quality and value of Golden Totes “surprise items”. I wasn’t the only one. There started to be more and more ladies popping up and expressing their dissatisfaction with their surprise items. There was also an increase in the amount of women complaining about getting items with holes in them, uneven hemlines, uneven prints, wrong sizes and one lady even got an empty box sent to her. Additionally, the wait times for the boxes started to get longer and longer – to the point where there were a lot of women who hadn’t even gotten their tote for one month before the next months totes went on sale. That’s more than a month that they were waiting for six items of clothes. Yeah, and about that six items….Golden Tote (GT) always advertised that if you bought a large tote, you would be paying $149 (plus $8 shipping) and receiving a tote curated just for you with a value of up to $500. Well, then GT started saying that some of their chosen items were more “high end”, so if you picked them for your large tote, then you would only get three surprises rather than the customary four. That’s nonsense. If they advertise that your tote is going to be worth $500 – and one of their “high end” items sells on other sites for around $60 – then they must really be including some unbeleivable surprises to get to that $500 right? Wrong. That leads into another issue I started noticing. The surprise items started getting cheaper and cheaper. To the point where it was obvious that the items GT was procuring for their totes were defective or damaged items that they purchased in bulk and then touted as “personally curated” and “the best pieces at insider prices”. Nonsense. It started to look more and more like they were a dumping ground for clothing companies left overs and rejects.
I, however, remained loyal and dedicated and defensive about them – even as their product slid further and further downhill. Even as more and more complaints started cropping up and even as it became absolutely apparent that GT was more concerned about the bottom line than personalized customer service.
That’s where another issue started cropping up; GT was putting items up on their site as chosens and touting them as “amazing deals”, when people were finding the same items on sale and on close out at other online clothing sites for so much less than what GT advertised them as. I still defended them…when I got items with holes in them I just chalked it up to “oh that happens sometimes” and I kept ordering. When they only gave me three surprises because I chose a “high end” item I justified it – even when someone would post that they found that “high end” item for $20 or $30 elsewhere. Even when it was super obvious that my large tote wasn’t even close to $500. Hell, I would have been lucky if my tote added up to $200. I just kept justifying by thinking “well hey, it’s still more than the $159 I paid right”?
Well, then the final straws came closely together. I am going to post a full blog about it later – I’ve been meaning to for awhile now. But the long story short is that GT started doing a few things that I just could not justify no matter what:
1) they started putting up Junior sized clothing as both chosen items and surprise items without letting the customer know. That’s shady, shady business right there. It really upset me to see women beating themselves up or being super hard on themselves because they didn’t fit in their normal size medium and they couldn’t figure out why – well, it was because they were being given teenagers clothing and not told about it! I’m lucky enough to be genetically blessed with small bones and a petite build. I can fit in juniors clothing. In fact, juniors clothing usually fits me better than regular women’s clothing because it’s made more like Petite sizes. However, even I can’t fit in some junior sizes, and I don’t want to. It’s designed for teenagers. It sucked to watch those women struggle and blame themselves. IT’S NOT YOU -IT’S THE CLOTHING! GT still won’t admit or inform customers that they are buying junior sized clothing. So if you chose to buy, you might want to research the brand and find out if they offer the right sizes for you.
2) They started seriously censoring the trading board. Part of the major fun of GT is that they have a Facebook page where you could buy, sell and trade the items that weren’t your style or fit. GT always said that they were not involved or affiliated with the trading board at all and that they wouldn’t be responsible for any of the content posted on the board. However, all of a sudden there was a new member on the board named “Jen at GT” or something like that. She was put on the board by GT to answer any customer service issues. After she came on the board, any and everything even slightly negative about GT got deleted immediately. Go look for yourself – you won’t see a single negative post, because those aren’t allowed. Any company that deletes and hides negative reviews or ratings on a site they claim to not be affiliated with is suspicious as all hell to me. It should be to you too because not every company is perfect. Not every company will please one hundred percent of their clients all of the time. Every company should appreciate and welcome constructive, and even negative, criticism so they know how and what to improve on. Not GT. Nope. They hide all of it. They don’t want you to see it. Everything is puppies and sunshine and balloon animals at GT – or so they want you to think.
3) And if you challenge them? If you ask questions about why they don’t tell the customers they are selling Jr items? Or if they send you an absolutely defective item and you ask for a replacement or you post it on the page for everyone to see – wanna know what they do? They ban you. Yup. I was a ridiculously loyal customer. Read the original post below to see how obnoxiously loyal and defensive and in love with GT I was. I gave them thousands of dollars. Thousands. And when I got a defective as all hell shirt and asked for s replacement, they lied to me, were rude to me and refused to replace it for me. When I posted it on the trading board, they immediately deleted it. When I posted it again, they deleted it again. When I posted it on Instagram they blocked me. Then, “Jen with Customer Service” said they do NOT sell Jr sized clothing and I said “oh yes they do and why do they keep lying about it”? Guess what? They banned me. Deleted me from the trading group, blocked me from the business FB page, blocked me on Instagram and every single GT employee and page moderator blocked me – all at the same time. Wonder why? Hmmmmmmm? Maybe because they don’t want anyone to see the truth? Maybe they are so desperate for money and good impressions that they can’t have the real truth out there? Well I’m still putting it out there. In fact, I’m going to post all of it in a later post when I feel like wasting more of my life on Golden Tote and I feel like letting Y’all know the truth and not the bullshit wool that GT pulls over everyone’s eyes.
I’m don’t for now. Celebrity Marriage Bootcamp is on and I feel like that’s a better use of my time than GT non sense. But I’m going to get around to it. I’m going to post all of the emails and the screen shots and the messages to show how GT will lie, cheat and be shady shady shady. To show that GT thinks their customers are disposable and they don’t care a bit about you. They don’t care about providing you a positive, personally curated by a caring stylist tote. Nonsense. They want your 💰💰💰💰💰. They should change the name to Golden Note. All they want is your money and they don’t care what they have to say or do to get it.
Take your money elsewhere. Please. Go elsewhere. Go where the business cares at least a bit about you. Hell, even Wal-Mart has better customer service and cares more than GT does.
Thankfully, there is now competition out there. There are so many new online boutiques companies that offer clothing and mystery totes/boxes/bags that offer better quality, better service and way way better clothing – for the same price or less. They are competitive. They care about the customer and they offer what GT used to = personally curated clothing at a competitive price styled by people who care about your needs. Not what GT is now = take the money and stuff the same defective and cheap clothes in everybodies bag and call it “curated”. Bull.
Try it. You’ll see. I’m right. Skip a month of GT and try one of the other business I am listing below and compare the two. Even if you don’t want to buy from them – then just read the Facebook pages and you’ll see the difference.
Here, give these guys a try. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
RelishClothing.com – get a mystery box or an accessories box. The clothing is similar to what GT USED to offer, but every item is so delightful and unique and different from what you will see in your brick and mortar stores at home. You are guaranteed to get an incredible box full of clothing that you will positively love – because the owner listens to your needs and works hard to honor your requests. She even asks that you put a link to your Pinterest board in the order form so she can get a sense of your style. Use the code “SHINEON” to get 20% off an accessories box now until midnight Monday, August 3. The owner has given up the boutique in favor of only doing mystery boxes. The FB page is “Relish Clothing” and the trading page is “Relish Clothing Trading Group”. If you get an item you don’t care for – it’s easy to sell or trade on the trading page because she doesn’t just send the exact same thing to everyone over and over.
Autumn Olive Boutiqe: ShopAutumnOlive.com the lady who runs this boutique seeks out and offers a lot of items that are very similar to GT products, but you can bet they aren’t defective. She also asks for feedback from customers about what they are looking for and then tries her best to find it. The FB page is “Autumn Olive Boutique”.
Moxie.Style: the newest of the bunch, this one is the most similar to GT in terms of their mystery totes and clothing brands – but the quality of the clothing and the customer service is head and shoulders and hips and knees above what you will get with GT. Plus, they are trying some bold and interesting ideas that really involve the buyers in the process of picking the clothes they want to see in the totes. The website is: Moxie.Style (check out the incredible sale section up right now and grab a $5 jumpsuit = ultra comfy, I wear them as jammies). The FB page is “Moxie Style Trading Group”.
All three of these businesses are owned and operated by women who were Golden Tote customers and thought they could improve on the current model – and I think so far they definitely have!
What it is: (My opinion) A hot mess of an attempt to take your money in exchange for defective, damaged, cheap and sometimes hideously ugly clothing.
(Advertised) A monthly “flash sale” of women’s clothing that involves you picking one chosen item for $49 plus shipping and getting that item plus a “surprise” item chosen by the Golden Tote stylists; or you picking two chosen items and getting 3-5 (majority of the time 4) surprise items.
For a better, more detailed description go here:
The October sale is right around the corner, so I thought I better finally get my review up to show Y’all so you can join in on the October sale (starts Monday, October 6 at 12 P.M. E.S.T).
I will start by saying I ordered two totes like I usually do. This month they had a huge problem with their ordering system right when the sale went live and it caused a breakdown and all the GT addicts lost their ever lovin minds over the whole thing – so GT pushed the sale back to the next day at the same time and everyone, for the most part, settled back down. To make up for the issue, GT is offering free shipping to anyone who spends more than $250 total on either the Golden Totes or they also have a boutique and sell items individually there. So I took full advantage and ordered two large totes. GT is an all or nothing deal = you love everything and keep it all or you send it all back for a full refund: minus shipping.
Before I get started with the clothes I have to do what I set out to do with this blog and give Y’all the dead honest truth. I returned one of my large totes this month. I have been ordering two large totes regularly since I first found GT in March and I have never even thought of returning a tote. I’m not sure if they got a new stylist who didn’t know me (the ladies who run GT are very often on the the Facebook trading page and they get to know us through our pictures and comments – I have even gotten a handwritten, very personalized, note from a stylist in one of my totes before) or what happened but it was a big bust. Usually the one or maybe two pieces out of the totes that I didn’t like I was always able to trade or sell on the Golden Tote Facebook Trading Group (that group is beyond incredibly active – they are red hot on buying, trading and selling). So when one of my totes was actually really disappointing = I liked 2 of the 6 items in it – I posted the other four on the trading board and only got interest in one of them. That’s when I decided to send the whole thing back, get my refund and somehow wind up ordering 2 more large totes. No joke – I ordered 2 more large totes. I justified this by reasoning that there was no shipping and I made one of my chosen items a dress for my Paralegal, Amanda, who saw mine and loved it so much she needed it too.
My two new totes should be here next week and I can show Y’all those too – but they might be after the October sale and I don’t want you to miss out, so I will show you the one awesome tote I got.
Ok enough about all that, let’s get to the review:
I don’t have a great picture of me wearing this, but I love it. It is soft and pretty and lays the right way. My only issue is it is incredibly low cut. That will look really hot if I want to throw it on with some black pants and go out one night, but it doesn’t work when I want to wear it under my black suit. I am considering adding one button, but for now the solution is to put a black cami under it and it still looks really good. I wore it to court already and got several compliments on it. Here is my crummy photo of me in it:
See? It’s pretty and makes for a sharp look under a black suit. Love it.
Chosen Item 2: Peach Cropped Jacket
When you are petite, “cropped” is one of your favorite words to see when reading an items description. I did not expect this jacket to be as thick of a material as it is. I thought it would be like a light, suit jacket type material. It’s not. It’s thick and soft and so comfy. It has really cute, but not over the top, details like the little zipper pockets and the drawstring tie at the bottom and it makes me happy. I am going to get a lot of wear out of this jacket and it’s neutral color makes it adaptable to so many items in my closet.
I think this jacket is able to be worn by any age group, from teens on up, depending on how you style it. Love it.
Surprise item 1: Hourglass Lily Dress
Yeah, it’s a winner. A lot of taller women find this brand to run too short for them. For me, it’s the perfect length and size. I have this dress in two other, more summery prints, but I still happily welcome this one because they are so flattering and ultra soft. It’s almost like wearing nothing. Plus the dress carries itself = you don’t need anything more than shaved legs and killer shoes and you are pulled together and ready to go. For winter, I will add tights – if I can stand them – boots and the cropped jacket and rock this dress all four seasons.
Surprise 2: Le Lis Sweatshirt
Oh. My. God. Can someone please send me this sweatshirt in every pattern and color please? This is the XS and it is no joke and XS. I think it could easily fit one of those American Girl Babydolls…. I don’t care though because it actually fits me really good. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good, ultra baggy sweatshirt just as much as the next college kid, but this one is so flatteringly fitted. Before GT I was that mom at all my kids games, and school events and sometimes even the occasional meeting, in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Now, I can still wear a sweatshirt and yet look pulled together and stylish. GT sent this sweatshirt out in, like, 12 different patterns and I would have been thrilled with a whole box of just these. Love it.
Surprise 3: Skies are Blue Embroidered Top
I’m not sure why I look so “puffy” in that picture – but look at the shirt and not me! So this is Tshirt material in the back and two layers of gauzy, flowy, pretty material in the front. It is incredibly flattering and I don’t know why the picture didn’t turn out good enough to demonstrate that. I hate posing for pictures. Maybe that comes through in the shot – I just never know where to put my arms to make it look natural and not fakey. Anyway, everyone on the FB board went crazy over this shirt and it’s completely understandable. This one will get a lot of wear with me. I am glad I was lucky enough to get one, because not everyone did- and those women who didn’t are desperately trying to find one of these on the boards with no luck because almost nobody is giving theirs up! Love it.
Surprise 4: Paper Crane Top
No. Just No.
I don’t even have a picture of me wearing this because I hated it right out of the package. Plus, I’m a little confused because Golden Tote let’s you add comments to your order about what you won’t wear or what you are looking for, and they have, for me, so far been dead spot on. I usually leave my comments pretty short because I do truly appreciate the aspect of GT that pushes you to try things you wouldn’t normally try and gets you out of your comfort zone. However, the two of you reading this that know me (I can’t get my friends to read my blog – they suck), know that I am not usually a flower print wearing person. Also, I specifically listed in my comments “please no loud flower print items”. So what the heck? How did this, out of all the hundreds of surprise items GT is sending out, make it into my tote? It made me unhappy, and a little sad, because one of my favorite things about GT is that I always felt like there was a real personal touch involved. Like the ladies at GT really went above and beyond to deliver a personal shopper type experience and that they listened to your comments, while still trying to get you to try new things you might never have though of wearing. They even advertise the company as a “personal shopper” type deal. This month I felt like whoever “styled” my tote just grabbed the first four items and stuffed them in my tote. I got lucky with the first three – but this one was a complete bust.
Also, I am an XS and I make that pretty clear and the GT ladies have always gotten that right. I can wear a small in most tops –
as long as they are unstructured or run small, like my first chosen item above ^^.
This shirt is huge and it felt like I was wearing a maternity shirt. I know it looks great on other people though, because Amanda grabbed it, tried it on and immediately claimed it as hers and took it home. She’s normally a size medium in tops and the small fits her beautifully. So I didn’t even have to trade it – the item I didn’t care for at all, someone standing right next to me loved and that’s pretty awesome.
I was happy to give it to her and I think Karma works in wonderful ways because after I gave it to her I got a private message on FB from one of the ladies on the Trading Group that she had a different top that didn’t fit her right and she was just going to send it to me – no charge or anything – just because she’s as sweet as can be and we interact often on the board. That is another super cool thing about GT, is the camaraderie and internet friendships formed on the trading board. Recently, the mediator of the board has asked us to not start threads on “off-topic” issues that aren’t strictly related to buying, selling, trading or styling only GT items. I understand why she wants to do that completely, but I hope it doesn’t hinder our ability to really communicate with the other women on the board.
Alright, so here is Surprise Item 5 – thanks to the amazing Justina!
Awesome! This shirt is beyond comfortable and flattering and wearable in so many ways. It is hard to see in the picture, but it’s a tee shirt material with really pretty embroidery up the front. The light cream color will go with almost everything and, even though it’s a small and not an XS, it fits just right. Love it.
So I wound up with a tote that had 5 out of 6 complete winners. The one I didn’t like I was able to give away without even hitting the trading board, and I got another top I loved, thanks to someone else’s extreme generosity and kindness, for the result of a complete and total winner of a tote. 6 clothing items I will get a ton of wear out of for $149. That works out to $24.83 per item. And I never had to leave my house! Hello!! Can you see why I am a Golden Tote Addict?
If you want to be one too – here is my referral link.
If you order off my link, I get a $10 credit to use on my next tote, and after seeing the October spoilers , there will most definitely be an October tote – or four.
…..The top I am wearing in the headline picture is a GT surprise item from August that is one of my most favorite GT items ever and it is the only thing that makes me a little excited for cooler weather here…..