DECATUR, AL (WTVM) - One Alabama high school student is telling potential prom dress buyers to beware of online stores - you may not be getting what you want.
Alivia Briggs, a 17-year-old junior at Austin High School in Decatur, AL, said she saved up her own money to buy her prom dress this year. She ordered the dress from a Chinese distributor's app named DHGate and an associated online store called Allanhu.
The baby pink dress with gloriously embellished detail cost $223, Briggs said. When she got the dress ahead of her April 16 prom she was very disappointed in what she received.
"This is why you don't order from China," Briggs exclaimed on Twitter on April 14. The dress was cheaply-made and not wearable, Briggs said.
Briggs said when she received her dress after ordering it in March, she opened the box and laughed.
"When I first got the package, I went straight to my friend Haley's house so she could be there when I opened it," Briggs said. "We sat down and when I opened the bag we both just started laughing because we could already see how cheap it was. It doesn't look as rough in the pictures, but in person it's like a bigger Halloween princess costume."
The texture and quality of the dress did not help the experience.
"It felt like a mix between sand paper and satin," Briggs said.
Briggs was in luck, however - she said she had a backup dress and wore it to prom instead. Meanwhile, the Pepto Bismol-colored, poorly-stitched mess Briggs ordered is still listed online for sale.
"I was really looking forward to the dress, but I was just thankful that I had that green dress as back up!! Which I loved that dress also," Briggs said.
DHGate, who describes itself as a Chinese wholesale website, allows for disputes for refunds on its website. Briggs said she has yet to receive a refund for her unsatisfactory dress.
This isn't the first time an online shopper has been less than satisfied with their online purchase from a Chinese wholesaler. In a 2016 BuzzFeed article, several websites that host lovely designs are stolen from other clothing websites, and are linked to one wealthy man in China.
The websites and other retailers that are more popular than legitimate retailers on social media, are incredibly popular for their too-good-to-be-true prices and current designs.
It is unclear if DHGate is one of those stores linked to Chinese clothier Yang Jianxin.