A collab (short for collaboration) means working with someone to produce or create something. Sharing an affiliate code is not collaboration, it's a one tier marketing tactic aimed at influencers that often leads to dishonest reviews and people promoting shit products. For full transparency purposes I believe that influencers should have to disclose when they get paid to post something (#sponsored or #ad) and not bury it in clusterfuck of hashtags and that they should disclose when doing a review on products they received for free. I also strongly believe that it should be disclosed that affiliate codes saves you a bit of money, but also earns an influencer a commission. It's a win-win if you genuinely believe that you're not being mislead about the product.
Truth be told, I get direct messages and comments like this one fairly often and often ignore them because it's bullshit. It's bullshit that you should have to pay for product you're not familiar with to promote for them with little to no return. But Game of Thrones isn't releasing any new episodes for a while so I thought I would follow one of these comments through just for the heck of it.
Full disclosure, none of the links below are affiliate codes. I am making negative $40.69 CAD on this post because I bought this jumpsuit myself in order to review these kinds of Instagram marketed brands.
"Hey lovely We were scrolling through and think you're absolutely gorgeous 😍 Dm us we'd love to collab! ✨" some random clothing brand named Chickaberry Boutique comments on a photo of me (one they found via #ootd). At first glance their Instagram page seems legit; a decent following, a custom hashtag and lots of photos of (predominately skinny white) women in their clothing. Aesthetically the feed isn't very consistent but that's to be expected of any brands that rely on social media tags to gain content (seriously, they're probably saving a killing on marketing by not producing their own content). But hey, they made the effort to reach out to me with their generic and grammatically challenged comment, the least I could do is DM them, right?
Woah - so they were persistent. I'm busy, sorry I didn't respond right away. Guess I'll have a look at the site and see what it's all about.
If you Google "chickaberry" the first result is for the Chickaberry Boutique website that boasts that it's "a European inspired women's fashion boutique bring you a trending range of exotic clothing, swimwear, winter wear and accessories!" Their website has nothing on it about them or their "brand" and considering how inconsistent their ecomm photos are it's safe to assume that all of the photos are either from the manufacturer or photos of garments the factories are actually knocking off.
The whole site looks like a Reddit "what I ordered vs what I got" post waiting to happen. I was skeptical from the get go. The chances of the product being completely different than what I ordered seemed high, either the quality would be off, the fit or them actually sending a different product all together.
No where on their site does it specify that the goods would be shipping directly from the manufacturer in China. Instead they fancy it up by saying that their goods ship from warehouses all over the world. This was the actual timeline:
What I Bought vs What I Got
So the picture from the right was taken off their website directly. If you do a reverse Google image search (thanks Catfish) you'll quickly see that I was bamboozled because it's only $13 USD on AliExpress (the kingpin of online mass produced cheap clothing). The website lists no details other than that the jumpsuit is a cotton/poly blend that is a regular fitting, wide leg calf-length pant. According to their websites size guide I should be a size large to accommodate my bust.
What I got was a jumpsuit shoved into the smallest shipping envelope, no invoice, no tags, no labels, no fabric content listed and if I'm being completely honest it smelled toxic.
I had a few of my industry friends have a look at it to get their opinions on it;
Well for starters, providing someone a discount code to try and garner sales and also trying to get them to recruit other shoppers isn't a collab, it's a goddamn pyramid scheme like Younique or some other overpriced brand. Let's not even get into the whole "fast-fashion is destroying our planet" argument but rather just focus on the fact that these brands market themselves as good opportunity for those looking to garner exposure and unfortunately they often dupe impressionable women.
Fuck these fashion "brands".
I don't have anything I feel like I need to disclose. None of the links above make me any money. I don't have an affiliate code to share with you, if you really want to waste your money then just use the code they gave me COLLAB20 to save $20 which is probably more than 15% off anyways.
Also I'm out $40 now for the sake of this post so take me out for coffee or a drink or groceries or something.
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