Shopping Review: Beyond the Rack
This store review has been long overdue for a while, especially since there are so many people who are curious about shopping at Beyond the Rack. In my own personal experience, I can tell you that I had never even heard of this website until around a year ago when I was at home with my family discussing various sites for shoe shopping. A year later, I finally bit the bullet and decided to give this site a chance, though I opted over purchasing shoes for something less obvious and a bit more elegantly demure; a diamond ring. Some people would surely think of this as a bit decadent, however, I assure you that I didn’t even spend over $50 on the entire purchase. Pourqoui? Allow me a small explanation…
Beyond the Rack is one of those shopping sites that is based purely on purchases via shopping events. Therefore, you sign up or subscribe for updates and the site will provide you with emails about upcoming sales events that you may be interested in. In example, I seem to recall having signed up for some of the basics, such as jewelry and shoe event updates. Sometimes you’ll get a few emails about various other events that are happening, such as kitchenware sales. Generally it depends on what you’ve listed as your shopping interests during sign up. In this case, I seem to remember that I had received a more generalized event email and that I navigated over to the site to see if there was anything worth checking out. In my case, there was a diamond liquidation sale event happening at the time and this little 7/8 carat created sapphire and diamond number just happened to catch my eye. Like any other woman, I find it impossible to say no to diamonds, especially at this type of price range, so I decided to give BTS a chance.
Initially, one might question the overall quality of any sort of diamonds that could be purchased for only $50. The pricing alone makes you almost instantly fear that you’re ordering some cheesy scrap of metal with one of those poorly made stone settings that features gratuitous amounts of paste to hold everything together – however, thankfully I can inform you that I didn’t spend $50 on a glorified version of one of those bedazzed prizes you’d find at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box in the mid-90s. The picture above speaks enough for itself regarding the overall appearance of the ring; it is a visually stunning piece of jewelry and looks even more impressive in person. It’s easily affordable, the quality is amazing, and the price is well over half off of what you would pay for the same ring at one of your local jewelers. Likewise, I was more than pleased to discover that they actually had a selection of rings available in my size during the diamond liquidation event – so if you’re like me and you have awkwardly small fingers and usually can’t find your size available, Beyond the Rack might have something for you during their jewelry events. However, this is not to say I didn’t have any initial issues with my shopping experience, as I have two somewhat minor complaints worth mentioning.
My first gripe can be found in the fact that the site could really use some work on its item descriptions. When I purchased the ring, the site only had a very general description which mentioned that it was “silver” – which led me to make the purchase since I liked the overall design and silver is a preferential choice of mine. There were two stock photographs of the item, but the angle that it was shot at made the appearance somewhat questionable, because there was a slightly golden tint on some areas of the ring, despite how the description clearly said it was silver. Basically, if you looked at the ring at one angle, it seemed slightly gold while other areas seemed obviously more silver. I assumed it was a lighting issue and ordered the ring anyway. Of course, when the ring arrived, the packaging informed me that it was “gold-tone” over silver and I found myself staring at a ring that was initially far more gold than I had expected based on that simple “silver” description listed on the site. However, it was still beautiful nonetheless, so I kept it anyway. It’s not a particularly harsh bright yellow which is typical of some types of gold-tone jewelry, so I can overlook that small issue.
As for my second issue… if you’re not a huge fan of waiting for around a month to receive your purchase, Beyond the Rack may not be the best idea for you. When I made the purchase, the site informed me that it would take three weeks for the item to arrive at their warehouse and then they would ship it to my address. There are some items that don’t take three weeks to ship out to you and they’re listed pretty clearly when you’re browsing the site. However, that still doesn’t entirely make up for the rest of the shipping issues. There is a section available on the site to track your order, but if you’re dealing with the three week shipping situation, this area is completely vague; it only tells you that your order is “en route to BTS” and nothing else about its current location or your waiting time. By the time that the order has arrived at the warehouse, they eventually send you an email that provides you with a tracking number, but this information is greatly unorganized. When I received the email, it just provided me with the number itself, which I had to discern was a tracking number from previous experience – meanwhile, the track order section of the site never updated with that information.
To be fair, however – the ring did arrive one day earlier than the estimated delivery date and since my purchase, the site seems to have undergone a complete makeover as far as its overall appearance is concerned, so perhaps it’s possible that the section for tracking orders might be more organized during a future shopping experience. As a customer, I’d have to rate my experience and satisfaction around 80% out of a possible full 100%. The issue with the ring’s appearance is minimal and obviously I still kept the ring because I loved the overall design, so you could consider that to only be 5% out of my rating; however, the issues with shipping and the unorganized format of handling tracking information is what’s responsible for the other 15% — despite the fact that Beyond the Rack does make it clear which items ship after three weeks and which items ship immediately, it doesn’t alleviate the inconvenience of trying to figure out where your package is throughout that timeframe – especially when there are other event-based shopping websites which essentially ship your items within a few days.