As most of you would have known by now, I do most of my bead shopping online. Bead shopping online has been a norm for me and all this while, I have been quite impressed with the trend of online shopping. Shopping has never been more convenient than this. Even up till today, I'm still in awe with the ease of online shopping.
You can take your time browsing through the products available while deliberating over whether you should get it or not without a sales assistant pushing you for sale. Deliberation while shopping for whatever things is customary in my shopping experience because I try as far as possible not to make what would turn out to be unwanted purchases much later on.
I'm not saying that my deliberation practice has save me from making unwanted purchases (trust me, I still sometimes wasted on some purchases but that's another story) but it's also a way of how I manoeuvre my unlimited wants within my limited resources.
Anyway, Mix and Match was an online store that I've always been impressed with. They've got in my opinion, the largest selection of findings and beads online. I'm quite impressed with the range of products that they carry. The bead sizes that they carry is one of the larger ones I think, with the average size of 10mm. They also sell mostly in bulk which is how I normally buy.
I prefer to buy in bulk since you can get better prices that way and I never quite see myself as buying too much since I don't foresee myself ever stop making jewellery. So, I know I'll eventually use them anyway and hence never shy away from buying bulk. As a matter of fact, that is actually how I prefer to buy my beads and findings.
I've always wanted to try some of their products but since my inventory of findings were still rather abundant, I've been putting them off until recently. I ran out of toggle clasp and needed to get some more and saw this as an opportunity to try out Mix and Match.
I was even more exhilarated reading from their site that they offer free shipping within West Malaysia for purchases RM10 and above. More savings! =D They also offer rebate for higher value purchases which I thought was interesting since I do sometimes spend that much on materials but since I've still got a plenty, I decided to get the toggle clasp first for now.
10 pairs of toggle clasp for RM12. Pretty good deal, if you asked me.
So, I sign up with them and went ahead with my purchase.
What ensued during checkout was a major disappointment. The whole checkout user-interface that they employ is not user friendly at all. I think there might be some kinks with the web layout or something. I don't know.... but it was definitely not a smooth checkout experience. Probably the worst I've experienced so far.
You know how it is that after they confirmed your shipping address and thereafter you are choice for mode of payment, whether you want to pay by bank transfer, credit card or even store pick-up, right before they confirm your order? Well, here's where the bump is.
If you've done enough online shopping, you should understand by now that the faster you make payment, the faster will be the delivery and the faster you will get your stuffs because item(s) will only be sent out after payment is clear.
Therefore, I've always opt for bank transfer because e-banking could not have made the transaction much speedier.
But guess what payment option was laid down before me?
I don't know about you but as far as I'm concern, it's totally incomprehensible. I thought it was probably my browser's problem since I was using Mozilla Firefox. So, I immediately switched to Internet Explorer and it was still the same. My version of Internet Explorer happens to be the latest version too, mind you. It's IE 7.
Nevertheless, I try to still checkout with them. The first option was almost impossible because it requires me to enter something into the boxes which I am totally clueless about. So, I'm left with confirming my order with the money order option.
To be honest, I can't bear with really getting a money order. It's too much of a hassle. So, what I did was to write back to the address that they send me the confirmation email to ask how can I make payment through bank transfer.
I didn't bother asking them whether they accept bank transfer as a mode of payment because my logic just presumed that they do.
To my utter disappointment, my mail went unanswered. I probably wrote in to ask at the wrong email address or something but either way, it is not very efficient and online shopping to me, cannot afford to be inefficient.
I couldn't be bothered to search for other email address to contact them. It's just too much of a hassle which defeat the whole idea of online shopping i.e. ease and convenience. I just gave up on my purchase and bought from other online stores instead.
Another thing that I just want to mention is that I think their website is a bit cluttered and navigation is a bit haphazard. I guess you can't blame them because when you have that much of a product in store, you risk the clutter if you can't manage to organize.
There was at one point where I was suspecting that maybe the site is not exactly in operation anymore but then I saw a segment where they list the latest products for the month of September, so that couldn't quite be the case.
They also made a mention in their site that they have a store in Lelong.com.my. I tried a search there but still couldn't find their store. It would have been much more helpful had they put a link from their site to their Lelong store.
It's a real shame really, because I genuinely liked the range of products that they carry.
Therefore, it is with much regret that I've decided to take Mix and Match off the Workroom Directory because based on this experience alone, I won't recommend this site.
If there is someone who has done a successful bead shopping transaction with them, please feel free to let me know in the comment box. Probably you can enlighten me on what I might have missed out during my checkout process.
But either way, if you are in Penang, you might want to check out their showroom in Bukit Jambul Complex and let me know what you think of it.