Christmas shopping saga part II--Classic Closeouts

This is the second time I ran into the FedEx guy on the run--last time it was right when I got home, this time it's right when I was leaving my apartment. I had to wait until the end of the day before opening the package. I have to say that I'm quite disappointed with many of the purchases.

First, I take issue with the marblelized stone nugget drop necklace. Yes, it does look good--not nearly as good as the picture, but it's probably because of the ugly plastic packaging--and it's only $5.99, but the green one (as pictured) has a terrible clasp. It took a lot of finger strength to pry the gated side open so that I can take the ring side out. At least the one I bought for someone else (in apricot) has a better clasp.

Second, I was ticked off by the Adidas boy's mesh shorts. At $5.49, they are a steal. However, they don't work very well as gifts. The pair I got has no tags on them, and the label inside had a cut on it--typical of clearance outlets, but not with things I've bought from Classic Closeouts, hence the surprise/discontent. The shorts themselves looked OK, but they're a bit sheer; a little more lining could have helped. There are also these weird slanted cut-outs at the hem serving as side vents, parallel to the Adidas stripes. It's barely good enough to be a Christmas present. At this point, I don't care. I'm too busy and too broke to do more shopping for the kids.

Finally, my biggest disappointment is this lamp. I bought it because I needed another light source for my desk. It looks really cool. At $19, the price is right. However, the moment I started putting the lamp together, I saw trouble. The lamp shade was kinda flimsy. The metal pole and socket assembly was also a bit flimsy; the added weight from the lamp shade causes the pole to twist and turn. I put in a regular light bulb and it was nowhere as bright as the picture represented. Took that lightbulb out and put in one of those brighter energy saving bulbs, but as I tightened the light bulb into the socket, the whole socket assembly twisted loose and fell apart. I managed to put everything back together, but it was clear that whoever was assembling it didn't do a very good job tightening the screws and whatnot. It's so Ikea-quality that it's not worth the $90 retail price that was listed. However, it's more of a hassle to send it back, so I'll just milk it for as long as I can as an additional lamp for the living room.

Another minor gripe is that the lid of my new storage jar has a ding on the lid. However, it's not really noticeable and doesn't affect functioning, so that didn't get me too irritated.

There are a few things I was happy with. The Adidas adult Climalite top (XL) was perfect, with tags and all. The packaging is again quite ratty, but I can remove it. A $3 pair of silver-disk drop earrings look great, and it would have looked even better if not for the packaging. The marblelized bracelets were lovely.

So, here's the lesson of the day: packaging is the key. Remove the plastic packaging material used for shipping (but not the original packaging, if included), check the quality, take off those "Made in China" stickers or tags, then repackage it in a nice box with tissue paper, good wrapping paper, and all the trimmings. No one would ever know they were under $10.

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