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You Get What You Pay For

February 22, 2021

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Sometimes when you take the bargain way out of a problem, it just creates more problems. Here's the story of my major DIY fail.

Velcro Package and roll of velcro tape

Since I'm a strong believer in sharing the unvarnished truth about the DIYs that go on around here, I felt compelled to share my recent frustration.

Partly because it's DIY related.

Partly because I shared a product that I think you should know did not live up to my expectations.

And partly because I needed to gripe about it to people who get it.

If you remember, several months ago, I made new curtain panels for the eating nook area in my kitchen.

I adored the new pattern so much, I was compelled to use every last scrap.

And I did.

I made a pillow for my living room with a small piece.

But used the majority of the leftovers to cover the glass cabinet doors above my desk. A space also located in the kitchen.

Cottage Style Desk Area with red check fabric on cabinet doors

It's something I started doing way back, in maybe 2011 or 2012? Definitely before I started blogging.

Despite my obsession and my large collection of material, in all those years, I've only replaced the fabric three times.

I started with a deep red pattern I grabbed off the clearance table. That was my first love.

Red fabric on glass cabinets over kitchen desk

Then I lightened up the look with a dainty pattern from Minted called Posy Stripe. That one holds the record for longest time on the job.

Cottage Style desk area with fabric on glass cabinets

And as I said, this third, and latest look, was to complement to the curtains on the other side of the room.

Three fabrics in about ten years.

However.

In all that time, through all those years and fabric changes, I only had to change the sticky velcro tape once. Yup. One time.

I put it up when I added the first red panels.

Then I left it there when I swapped the fabric out, from red to white. It was still super sticky and grabbed the pleats well.

There was no need to change it, so why bother adding extra time or expense to my project?

If you look closely at the older DIY you'll see I did take pictures of myself using a small piece of new Velcro tape on one corner, but that was just for illustrative photo purposes.

I left all the rest.

And it worked just as it should have until I removed the top strips this past fall. I actually left the side that sticks to the wood alone. 

Removing Velcro strip from a cabinet door

But...I figured after almost a decade it was time for new tape to support my new fabric. It was still mildly tacky to the touch, but I didn't want to take any chances. 

So I went online to shop.

Right away the actual Velcro brand tape came up in search. It was about $18 for 15 feet of white tape. And I plopped it in my cart.

However, being a sucker for a bargain, when that here's what other people bought row of products popped up, I spied another no name brand and took the bait.

This one was listed for half the price. Only $8.99 for 16 feet of the same tape. And it was listed as Amazon's Choice. Hmmm.

I poked around the reviews for a bit, and some people did mention that it wasn't so sticky, but the majority of the 3,300 reviews were 5 stars...74% of them, in fact.

So I clicked on it and bought it instead.

And turns out, it was a huge mistake.

Huge.

Sagging Fabric on cabinet door

Oh sure, it stuck up there on those cabinets for about a week until the first signs of trouble showed up.

A loose fabric corner here or a lost pleat there.

Flopping Cabinet Fabric on a glass cabinet door

I'd never experienced that in the decade before with my Velcro branded tape, but I thought maybe I just didn't push the fabric down hard enough or something.

In those early days, I was hopeful. But now, now, I'm just annoyed.

Every time I open one of these cabinets, which is on a daily basis, the fabric flops done on my head.

Fabric falling away from glass cabinet door

When the doors are closed, it's saggy and droopy. The pleats are all gone. There is no stick left on the tape and the fabric is basically just up there because it's caught between the door and the frame.

It's beyond frustrating, especially for a girl who's all about quick and easy DIY.

Quick and easy DIY isn't quick or easy if you have to do the job twice.

Not to mention the fact that now I have to spend more money on this project and order the real Velcro tape.

The one I clearly should've purchased in the first place.  

So while yes, I am still all about the coupons and the discounts and the lesser priced store brands, sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

Which is not good.

And you should just stick with what you know. 😉

You Get What You Pay For DIY Fail

Have you had a bad bargain experience?

MORE FABRIC POSTS


SIMPLE SINK SKIRT
RUFFLED CHAIR SKIRT
PLACEMAT TO PILLOW
  1. I hope that you will let us know if your new Velcro tape is as good as the tape that you purchased a decade ago. So many things are not what they used to be. Good luck :)

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    1. Thanks so much and oh boy, you can certainly say that again! It's a shame, isn't it? I will definitely follow up.

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  2. Hi Kim, I am cutting back on my Amazon purchases now that we have been vaccinated and are out and about again, but I must tell you that like you the reviews often look amazing then I get a far less than perfect product so I read an article about the reviews being skewed by fake/non purchasers revews so I have used Reviewmeta.com and had no problem recently. Just one more tool for our online toolbox.

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    1. Thanks Cyndy! Great information. I will have to check them out. I agree, Amazon has a lot of sketchy reviews. I like it when, on other sites, it says that the review was left as part of sweepstakes or a contest. Amazon doesn't require those disclosures so the motivation is never clear.

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  3. Thanks for the warning on this, and that is so frustrating :-( I hope the actual Velcro works. I made a note of the site Cyndy mentioned (thank you Cyndy!) because I rely heavily on reviews before buying things, whether from Amazon or anywhere else.

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    1. I hope the new Velcro works, too! I never thought about the fact that it’s been 10 years and maybe the quality of that wouldn’t be the same either. I guess it will be an experiment. And yes, great information from Cyndy!! I will be checking that out, too!

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  4. Oh my how this stinks. You're so right sometimes you have stick with the name brands. You must be so annoyed.

    What's with so many good reviews? Maybe the people that gave it good reviews held up tissue paper

    Cindy

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    1. Totally stinks, Cindy and yes, I was also wondering what people were using it for, because honestly, I don’t even think mine would hold tissue paper!! No stick left. At all.

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  5. How very annoying. I have had that sort of thing happen over the years, too. Thankfully, it was on something along the DIY line and not on a cut rate dentist. So..you see..it could be worse. Velcro Forever--I see a flag that says that in your future!

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    1. Perspective is everything, Diana!! Thanks for sharing some. ❤️

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  6. I think we've all fallen into that trap, Kim. Unfortunately, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with...so sorry that happened to you!

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    1. Thanks Ann! I’m usually the biggest bargain pusher, I love to save. This time is was a bummer though.

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  7. That is so irritating! I've heard that there are a lot of fake reviews on Amazon which makes it so hard to trust the 5 stars. And this is probably proof of that. But it caused you extra cost and extra work... I'm sorry!

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    1. Thanks Mari! In the grand scheme of things (especially lately!!) it’s not a huge deal, but annoying for sure. I hope my second attempt is more successful.

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  8. This is great that you shared this Kim. Sometimes a bargain is great and sometimes not so great. I cannot blame you especially since the reviews were pretty great. That makes me wonder sometimes who is writing these reviews. I guess the old saying live and learn applies here. Thank you for sharing this so anyone reading this that is thinking of using velcro tape will know the truth about the bargain brand. Happy New Week. xoxo Kris

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    1. I guess you just never know, Kris. I mean 3,300 reviews can't all be fake, can they? At least that was my thinking. Oh well, time to pony up and buy the brand name. I wonder if those reviews are correct! I think that one has about 8,000!! I hope you have a great day! xo

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  9. After reading other's comments, I see that others had similar experiences with reviews on Amazon. I don't really trust the reviews either, and I appreciate Cyndy sharing a link for more trusted reviews. A good lesson and tip for the toolbox, indeed!

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    1. I agree, Marilyn, great recommendation from Cyndy!

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  10. That had to be frustrating! I do love that checked fabic!

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    1. Thanks Penny. That fabric makes me smile every day. Even when it’s flopping on my head. Ha!

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  11. This is true with some items! Seems like somethings the less expensive brand is great and works out fine, but somethings you just need the original. Thanks for letting us know.

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  12. Oh yes - I tell my Hubby that often. He will buy something to use "in the meantime" and I counsel him to just go ahead and either wait til we can afford the better item, or just buy it now. Otherwise we spend twice what we would have and have more STUFF cluttering the garage. I tend to trust those stars too much on Amazon, too. I would rather shop in person, Covid be darned.

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    1. I miss shopping in person, too, Gina. This online stuff is convenient, but it can be a bummer when what you get isn’t what you thought you were getting. Case in point…

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  13. Kim, I feel you pain--few things are as frustrating as DIY fails or bargain products that don't deliver. In this age of COVID it is almost impossible not to rely on Amazon, and many times the free ship to the door option has been a life saver. However, I have noticed the customer ratings aren't always reliable, and unfortunately, the promised shipping date is becoming less and less reliable, even before the weather issues. On a positive note, I took a chance on some faux florals that only had a 1 star rating and was surprised to learn that sometimes this is just a reflection of a product that hasn't received many ratings--not necessarily negative ones. (The amaryllis I received is gorgeous and realistic looking.) One last thing--did you request a refund from Amazon? They are pretty consistent about issuing refunds for a variety of reasons, and sometimes you don't even have to physically return it. Hope you get this sticky situation resolved smoothly. :)

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    1. I hadn't thought about a refund, thanks! I am totally disappointed with this purchase and you're right, I just bought a duvet cover set for my daughter with one star and it was great!! We're super happy with it. You really can't count on those starts, can you?

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  14. Kim, I am sorry that your pretty fabric has to go through this. It is so easy to think in a budget frame of mind and try to save a little here and there. It happens to me all the time and I, guess, you live and learn. You will fix it up and it will still look as pretty as ever so that is a good thing. Some times you get lucky though so don't give up hope..Stay well..xxoJudy

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    1. Thanks Judy! It is so pretty, just droopy and annoying, but it’ll get fixed. I don’t mind paying more for things and I don’t judge them when they are less. I’m just looking for value and clearly this time it wasn’t there! Fingers crossed for next time. xo

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  15. Well Kim, that whole situation is so frustrating! That is too bad and I always look at the reviews on Amazon but I guess you can't trust them all. I hope it won't be too much trouble to do it all over again with the velcro.

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    1. Thanks Julie! I'm reordering today. I hope it works this time.

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  16. Thank you Kim and Cyndy! I tend to doubt any Amazon stars, but sometimes you just have to :^( I use Velcro a lot, but have been purchasing the industrial variety. It REALLY holds well, and I can use smaller pieces :-) Good luck and blessings to you, J

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    1. Oh…what’s the industrial version?? I think I need that!!

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  17. Kim,
    I am not a fan of Amazon and the only time I order from there is when my son gifts me a Gift Card. I find that I can find things much cheaper in brick and mortar stores than on Amazon. I find them to be expensive...Are you familiar with the Vine Program of amazon where people get free merchandise to review and the more they review, the more free things they get??? The crazy neighbor that lives next to me who has mental issues gets packages all the time...sometimes 6 a day from Amazon..I would not trust the reviews...
    Thanks so much for taking the time to host each week!! I appreciate all the time you put into it!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. I’ve heard of these programs, I guess I didn’t think that they were out there racking up 3000+ reviews on a product, but clearly I was wrong. And I do miss the stores. Hopefully, we’ll be back inside them soon. Hugs!!

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  18. I've had more bargain mishaps than I care to mention...and it's always because I'm trying to be so frugal....my husband calls me "cheap" but I prefer frugal! The latest is that last Feb. (2020) I purchased a DELL laptop rather than the HP I had planned on buying (since I had had great luck with HP). The DELL was on sale and the seller convinced me I was getting more for my money.....NOT!!!! That blankety-blank laptop has given me nothing but headaches for a year. DELL has been absolutely no help and has not lived up to its warranty. Therefore, I just forked out over $1000 to buy a new laptop...ouch! that hurts to even say it!!!! As I've told you before, I l-o-v-e, l-o-v-e, l-o-v-e your red gingham!!!!! I just drool every time I see your photos!!!

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    1. Oh, Cheri, that’s so frustrating, especially since you paid so much. Even for a “frugal” (my mom’s favorite word) price that’s quite a bit to cough up for subpar performance. I think we’re all just asking for what we paid for…a product that works! And thanks for the sweet words about the red checks. They make me smile, too.

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  19. Ugh, so frustrating! I see that one of your commenters above talked about reviewmeta.com. I bookmarked it! Will be interesting to use next time I need it.

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    1. I agree, Melanie, it seems like a great resource.

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  20. Oh yes, I have been in this boat too. Recently for me it was wasabi tape! It was all stuck together, I could not do a thing with it.

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  21. I'm sort of laughing because that's what would probably happen to me if I had thought of such a brilliant idea to Velcro the curtains on the doors.

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    1. I had to laugh, too, Christine. It was either that or cry. 😉

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