2015 was a big year for me. After graduating college, I decided to develop my passion for beauty and Fashion. After a while of being on Instagram and investing my time into creating a social media presence, I was contacted by Mirina Collections. Instagram has become one of the biggest ways for businesses to promote their company and/or sell products. An initial e-mail was sent inviting me to be a part of the “Ambassador program” which included a “Free necklace” and all I had to cover was shipping costs.This was the first time I had ever been contacted by a company and of course I was thrilled! After accepting their offer, I was given a discount code that applied to the necklace of my choosing and only had to pay for shipping. I thought the shipping would be around $10, especially since the necklace would be shipped from Miami Beach to Orlando, Florida. I applied the code and noticed that only 75% was discounted after the code. My total for check-out was about $60. I e-mailed the Marketing Manager “Tiffany Rose” and was told the amount was only for “Weight cost”, because it was hand made, and that the system they have is “strange”…
I started to feel like I was being tricked so I decided not to buy the necklace. A couple of months passed by and although I was feeling skeptical, I decided to give it a try. After all, I wanted to be a part of the “Ambassador Program”… Here is an outline of the Benefits.
A few Mirina Girls including myself, decided to test our unique discount codes for our followers to receive 20% off and none of them worked. A discount code was never created, it never existed. Nothing was being tracked. It’s safe to assume the “Extra” benefits were also a sham.
After I decided to pay $80 for a Mirina Collections necklace, I waited three months for its arrival. Shipping from Miami Beach to Orlando, takes only a couple of days. Some reasons they would give Mirina girls for the necklaces taking so long was that regular customers were a priority. I would like to think that there is an organized system in place to prioritize those who are promoting you. Also, my necklace arrived in a small envelope. When shipping anything in an envelope, most carriers have a weight limit and charging $80 for this, is outrageous.
The necklace I received was originally around $200. It was not as heavy as they made it out to be. The quality was like a statement piece from FOREVER21. Which I don’t mind if I am paying under $20 for it. My necklace was falling apart after a few days, and the attachments were unstable and kept falling.
As part of the Ambassador program, you are part of a closed Facebook group for Mirina Girls. I actually did benefit from the group and made a few friends, including one who lives in my area. You had the chance to share social media accounts, follow threads, and participate in give-aways. Mirina girls were famous for following you in order to gain followers, then unfollow you. I am part of many networking/blog groups on Facebook and Mirina was by far the worst. It was very unorganized, lacked structure, or any sort of rules for maintaining a positive, safe space for everyone. Blogging is a whole WORLD. It takes time to learn the ins and outs, and Mirina Collections prey on the excitement and naive mindset of upcoming bloggers/vloggers/instagrammers. They violate the basic ethical values every marketer should aspire which are honesty, fairness, respect and openness. A business who engages in a good relationship with their consumers is likely to maintain a long-term healthy business. Mirina Collections is using the illusion of rewarding marketing strategies.
Mirina Collections at New York Fashion Week?
It seems convenient not to mention which designer they will be working with at NYFW.
After being acused of selling the same necklaces found on Amazon for half the price, they have now lowered the prices of their “Famous Statement Necklaces” that were once $129-$190 to now $44-$85.
Mirina Collections, like many other short-term profit businesses, can hear the clock ticking and are stepping their game up meanwhile continuing to make unethical decisions. We are all growing and I hope this serves as a learning experience for you, as it has for me. As bloggers we do want to network and connect with companies, but we need to remind ourselves that networking is a relationship and should benefit both parties. Don’t just wonder whether companies want to work with you, but also whether or not you want to work with THEM.