Belleair Bluffs, Florida -- How many times have you been on Facebook and out of nowhere you start seeing pop-up ads for really cute clothes at unbelievable rock-bottom prices? 10News WTSP went shopping online and spent about $50 to find out whether or not you get your money's worth.
All of the items we purchased came from China. The estimated delivery time was 10 to 15 days. While the items were shipped to our 10News studios, the order did not specify the items were ordered for a news organization and under our names.
When the items arrived we stopped by Deja New consignment store in Belleair Bluffs to meet with Kelly Machbitz who is an image consultant. Kelly Meyer and Tina Kihara agreed to model the clothing for us.
They tried on a red dress from Ali Express for $16.99. It arrived in 11 days. We also ordered a Dress Lilly black-and-white polka dress for $14.79. Meyer modeled the dress for us. She wasn't impressed with the fabric. She said, "The color is a little different. It also seems like it could be a little itchy."
Still at less than $15 dollars she says she'd wear it. Meyer adds, "For fun I wouldn't necessarily wear it to work because it doesn't have the lining so I'd be worried about it showing undergarments."
Meanwhile, Kihara modeled a chiffon tank for us. It was the most expensive top at a little less than $9. Kihara says she likes the fit and the fabric. She says it's versatile and adds, "I can wear it to work. It's casual."
There was just one minor problem. Kihara said that the gold buttons at the back of neck were a little tough to get to without some help. Still she gave it a thumbs up. It was the same with the two $6 short-sleeve blouses we ordered, too. Meyer absolutely loved those. She said, "I don't feel restricted - where the seams are - seems like a good quality."
Meanwhile, our image consultant Machbiz was stunned. She said, "This amazed me. I don't think I was prepared to learn how great these items worked."
Kihara tried on the last item we purchased, the red dress. She said, "I like it. I think it may be a little bit small - I'd go up a size." She adds, "I would buy it all day long in every color."
But our image consultant says it's best to invest in items you can try on first. Machbiz says, "For the blouses and tops that you're going to continuously have to repurchase that's wonderful for online shopping. Party dresses where you're going to go out and have cocktails in that would be all right but for your basics your jackets your black slacks - your little black dress I would still stick to the high end."
She says you should consider buying high-end clothing from department or consignment stores.
A few tips could help you when you're shopping online. Check out the online reviews and look for reviewers real-life photos before you buy. You should also run the company's name through the Better Business Bureau's website. We found that Dress Lilly has an F rating and Ali Express has a D-minus rating.