Dames a la Mode FAQs and Policies

Posted by Taylor Shelby on

Are your items nickel-free?

Yes! Dames a la Mode items are made with naturally nickel-free brass that has been plated with various nickel-free finishes.  On occasion I offer vintage or antique items which may contain nickel.  I will ALWAYS note those items in the descriptions and warn that they may contain nickel, but 99% of my offerings are nickel-free.

Do you accept returns or exchanges?

Dames a la Mode excepts returns or exchanges within a limited time-frame. Returns must be sent back within 5 days of delivery (based on the tracking # sent with your order). Exchanges may be done within 15 days of the delivery. There is a 10% restocking fee on returns. Initial shipping and any customs duties paid are non-refundable. Shipping for exchanges is the responsibility of the customer.

How do you ship your items?

My orders are all shipped via USPS with tracking numbers. I can arrange to ship your items FedEx or UPS if you prefer, however there will be an additional charge for shipping as it can cost a great deal more. Please contact me if you would like to arrange shipping via UPS or FedEx.

Do you ship to the UK?

Due to changes in VAT rules implemented on January 1, 2021, shipping to the United Kingdom has been suspended. The requirement for non-UK sellers to collect and remit VAT to the UK government is an onerous process that we cannot currently comply with.  However, we are still shipping to the UK via our Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/damesalamode  Please note that there is a limited selection on Etsy but please contact us if you see something on the website that is not available on Etsy and we can create a listing for you there.   We do not have an anticipated date of when shipping will begin again via the website. 

How long do your items take to arrive?

That depends!  Typically items in the US arrive in 2-3 days (Priority Mail) or 4-6 days (First Class Mail).  International items can be trickier to predict.  I have seen packages take between one and six weeks.  If you have a specific deadline please contact me before ordering so I can give you more detailed options.

I live outside of the US, will I be charged customs?  

Maybe.  Customs/VAT charges vary significantly from county to country, so I can't make a blanket prediction.  I know customs charges are common in the UK and the European Union. I would recommend checking with your local customs regulations to see if you will be charged customs. Please keep in mind that these can be *significant* and may increase the cost of your package by quite a bit.  The recipient of the package is responsible for all customs charges and will not receive a refund or credit from me in the event that an additional charge is levied. If a package is refused for VAT it will eventually be returned and a refund will be processed via the rules stated in the "returns" section above. Keep in mind that the return of a refused package can take a significant amount of time so it may be a slow process to receive a refund. 

I don't want to pay Customs/Vat.  Will you declare my item a gift or lower the value of the item on the declarations form?

 No.  This is illegal and I will not falsify customs forms.

What if my item doesn't arrive? What is your policy on lost mail?

I ship all of my items with tracking numbers, so lost packages are very rare thankfully!  If your item is marked as "delivered" then I will consider it such.  I am not responsible for stolen or misdelivered packages, so please ensure your address is correct and you have a safe place for packages to be left.  If your item has been marked as delivered by you don't have it, please contact your local post office.  If you would like me to set up a delivery signature requirement ($4.00) please let me know ahead of time and I can arrange that for you.

Sometimes items seem to vanish in the mail with no tracking or tracking that just ends in the middle of transit.  If that happens I will consider your package lost after 4 weeks (US delivery) or 8 weeks (International delivery) and will send you a replacement package. 

Do you have a storefront or can I visit your studio?

Dames a la Mode is an online business only and does not have a physical retail location. Unfortunately visits to my studio to shop in person are not permitted. On very rare occasions I do in-person sales at trunk shows which are always listed on my facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/damesalamode/events/

Where do you get your supplies?

My supplies are sourced from numerous places both in the US and in Europe and the Middle East (where jewelry manufacturing is still specialized and high-quality). My settings are custom made for me by a small manufacturer. Many of my stones are vintage items or are new items imported from Europe where Crystals are still being manufactured by the same companies that made them 200 years ago!

Are your suppliers treating their employees and the planet ethically?

I care a lot about ethical labor and have made an effort to ensure that the products I use are produced ethically.  I assemble all of the actual jewelry myself, so I can guarantee that the labor on the jewelry itself is as ethical as possible, but I do not produce my supplies.

My settings and other metal-based supplies are made by a small family business that is very transparent with their labor practices.  They frequently share photos of their employees and their manufacturing spaces. They produce the items in a small, safe manufacturing office and the workers are (mostly) family members of the owners.  I have used this company for years and am very confident in them. 

The vast majority of my stones and crystals are produced in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany and adhere to the very strict manufacturing standards of the EU. 

I also frequently use vintage supplies which have been in the US for decades (sometimes many, many decades!) which have the added bonus of being environmentally friendly!

All other items, like packaging material and paper goods, are produced in the USA.  My packaging is produced by EcoEnclose (https://www.ecoenclose.com/) and is the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly packaging available. 

Can you make my necklace a custom length?

Probably! Since I make the necklaces myself I can customize most items to a specific length. There may be an additional charge for the change - please contact me at Taylor@damesalamode.com if you would like to have an item customized.

I don't know what colors I need. Can I see them in person?

I offer a rhinestone sample service! You can see the stones in person before you commit to a necklace. These can be ordered here: https://www.damesalamode.com/products/rhinestone-samples?_pos=1&_sid=86cf83335&_ss=r

I can't decide which size to order.  Is there a guide?

Yes!  I have a youtube video about the differences in the sizes of the stones available, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqlfdVRAErY&list=PLNLuikbIx5cJSsZGzGTmQaWDvBIIrvRhI&index=2&t=0s

What is the difference between Swarovski Crystals and regular Crystals?

Swarovski has been making Crystals for hundreds of years and are still the producers of the most beautiful and highest quality crystals in the world.  As such, they are quite a bit more expensive than "regular" Crystals. 

Both types are made of leaded glass which makes them more vibrant and sparkly than regular glass, however Swarovski crystals are "machine cut" which means each facet is very precise and therefore reflects light in a beautiful way.  Other crystals are only machine cut on the top facet (sometimes referred to a "TTC" or "Table Top Cut") which makes them less sparkly (and also more affordable). 

Both types of stones are made with the same materials and are therefore both "Crystals" however Swarovski offers a better depth of color and more sparkle. 

Here is a 5 minute YouTube video I did on these differences so you can see how the look side by side:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDai7g-lLAw&list=PLNLuikbIx5cJSsZGzGTmQaWDvBIIrvRhI&index=3&t=1s

The item I want is sold out. Do you have a waiting list? 

Yes!  If an item is sold out, you can sign up to be notified when it comes back into stock!  On the item page, click the "Email me when available" button and you will receive an automatic notification the moment the item is restocked. 

If you have any other questions, please contact me at taylor@damesalamode.com

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