By Holly

We have a lot of huge changes coming soon to our website, and I want to take the opportunity to explain them to our followers and our customers.

You may notice over the next couple of weeks that our inventory shrinks dramatically. You may also notice that there are far fewer designer brands on our site than we have had in the past. This is because we have decided as a company to make a few changes in how we do business.

Frugal Ella was started on a shoestring budget! Our initial budget was less than $100! (We’ve spent significantly more since then, but that’s where we started.) The only way to stock a store at that price level is to use drop-shippers, and that’s what we did early on. What that means is that we never actually had the inventory on hand at all. A customer would purchase from us and then we would order from the drop-shipper and it would be sent directly to the customer. For example, if you ordered a $30 shirt from us, we would pay $15 to the drop-shipper to have it sent to you.

The problems with drop-shipping are myriad and have been well-documented elsewhere. Shipping is not always timely, and the products (since we have not personally seen them) are sometimes of questionable quality. Here at Frugal Ella, our goal is to provide high quality for a low price, and without having physical inventory, we have no way to ensure that the products we offer are high-quality.

But the other problem with drop-shippers (and this explains why the designer brands have disappeared) is that there are many vendors who do not hesitate to rip off a designer item. We see this a lot with handbags and purses. What we have since learned is that even if a designer “replica” was made in the same factory with the same attention to detail, if it is not sold by an “authorized retailer”, it is legally considered counterfeit.

The problem is that – as we are not in the factories themselves – we have no way of knowing whether the “replica” (which is usually marketed as a legitimate item) is of high quality or not. Relying on drop-shipping for these designer items places us in danger of running afoul of trademark laws, even if we do not realize that the item is not legitimate.

So we are going to make a stand, even though we fear it may cost us dearly in the short term. We will begin working to phase out drop-shipping entirely. This may be a rather lengthy process, so until we are completely phased out, all items that are handled through drop-shipping or other fulfillment means will clearly indicate that fact.

We want to assure you that when you make a purchase from Frugal Ella, you are buying what you think you are buying. We want to conduct our business with integrity and provide an excellent product at an excellent price. So we hope that our loyal followers and customers will be patient with us as we make this transition.

Please check out our website regularly: http://www.frugalella.net

We will list items on our website as they become available.

If you don’t want to keep checking the website constantly, we invite you to sign up for our mailing list (form at the bottom). We will send you a monthly newsletter, a weekly “hot deals” sheet, and a free ebook about how to dress for your body type. I can promise you that we will never spam you (no more than 5-6 messages a month) and that we will never sell your information or give it to any other company.

Thank you all for your support, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

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