Recently I placed an order with “House of Novelty” on AliExpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/613287
My friend Krista found this store and thought they would be great for goody bag contents for our next big Lolita meetup. They have all kinds of cute and weird items, mainly stationery, and the prices in many cases seem like they might be too good to be true. She ordered a few things to double check that they came out fine before I made a big order, and she said it was all good so I went ahead!
I ordered various items for goody bags, and for myself I got a set of Hello Kitty makeup brushes in a cute pink tin from them for $4.
Shipping: Some of the items said they might take over a month to ship, so I made sure to order early enough that it wouldn’t be a problem if they took the maximum ship time. A package arrived from them well ahead of schedule, and I put it to the side because I wanted to review it when I opened it. A week or two later, another package arrived. This package was so badly crushed and beaten that I had difficulty figuring out how to open it. The box it was sent in was made of a very weak cardboard, and not fit to ship. When I opened it I was glad I had been careful opening it, because most of the items were just floating around inside, not wrapped in any way. I was really shocked that nothing was broken after double checking the contents, and then decided to check the first package. The first package was also poorly put together on the inside, and had there been any kind of tear in the packaging, things could have just leaked out one by one. I was disappointed by this, and confused that they had sent two packages without notifying me, as each package had some of each type of item haphazardously mixed in, it wasn’t as if some items had to be sent later or from a different place. Everything I ordered was included in the correct quantity, so I figured it was fine.
Quality of items: The Rilakkuma sticky note sets I ordered were all individually wrapped and well-printed, and the mini-highlighters were all perfect as well. The pens were super cute, very sturdy, and from the barcode on each seemed to be legitimate Sanrio items. What was strange about the pens was that they were filled with blue ink. This wasn’t mentioned in the item description, but there wasn’t anything specifically saying that the ink would be black, either. I wondered if these were defective Sanrio items that the seller had somehow gotten ahold of. It seems possible. The size of the makeup brushes surprised me, since I hadn’t paid close attention to the measurement in the description. I was expecting full-sized brushes, but what I got was right in-between full-size and mini-size brushes. I hadn’t seen makeup brushes in a size like this before. At first it seemed like they might be inconvenient, but I ended up really liking them and using them every time I apply makeup. Because of the small size, the tin fits nicely into my makeup bag and the brushes are a nice quality. The plastic macaron “ring boxes” were the only items I could have any real problem with. Most of them were great, but a handful of them were misshapen and the two halves didn’t want to stay together. Regardless, these were a fun and very cheap item, so if you want to get some I just recommend ordering a few extra just in case.
Overall I would say this is a neutral/positive review. There were some definite issues with shipping and some small issues with some of the items, but for the prices I paid it’s really hard to complain. I would recommend them to anyone trying to put together goody bags for an event, or to anyone who just wants some of the cute and silly novelty items they have. (Like the squirrel plushie neck pillow!!) Just make sure you order well in advance in case you have any issues, (and because shipping can take some time) and if you’re making a large order for goody bags it wouldn’t hurt to get a few extra of anything that looks like it might be flimsy.