Quick Look-Through: Sugar Sandcastle

Today, we’re going to look at SugarSandcastle, a circle lens online store!

I was doing my usual things on Tumblr when I stumbled about its tumblr, ~sugarsandcastle. I looked at it and realized that it’s a circle lens agent based in the United States! You don’t see that around very often. That doesn’t mean they don’t ship only in the United States – apparently, they also offer a worldwide service!

When I first got on the site, I saw how everything is in front. A poll, the payments they accept, the terms & conditons link and when it was last updated, what customers could receive, important updates, active and closed batches, and so much more. It seems a little cluttered but not so cluttered that it’s hard to tell what is what.

Looking at the top, there are 5 options but if you hover over them, more appear.

There’s the Welcome! page (which is the home page), Pre-Order Batches (where it shows what’s open to pre-order or not), In Stock! No Waiting (circle lens where you can order now without waiting, heh), How to Order/Terms & Conditions (self-explanatory), and More (which has a guideline on how to take care of your contact lenses and info).

Wow. This is quite organized!

Because this is a circle lens agent, I’m going to look at what they have for both pre-order and in stock to make a judgment on how this is run for when any of you guys want to order from them.

From the “Pre-Order Batches!”:

When you hover over, you see Open Now!, but when I click that, I get:

Please click on a sub-tab :]

When I click on Japan Lenses by Vassen, it gives me the same message. Is there a way to make it unable to click on?

But anyway, there are two categories under Japan Lenses by Vassen: Japan Barbie Eye & Japan Baby Color & Pandora.

Japan Barbie: Right away, I see an offer to buy a Lens Case for $0.35. Not bad but these are limited only to the pre-order circle lenses. There’s a possibility you can order the lens separately but my question is: what do they look like? Are they in the shape of the cupcake?

Next to it, there’s a little tip box:

Sugar Sandcastle Tips!

!!Please specify what power you’d like in the paypal notes, otherwise I will be ordering 0.00/0.00 (plano)

If you need to estimate shipping, add some things to your cart. Paypal will automatically calculate shipping once you specify your state/country.

Oh, well, that’s helpful to know! No, it really is. These days, I’m considering getting the plano circle lens just because glasses are still apparently a trend. Maybe it’ll help improve my look but we’re getting off topic.

The rest of the page has the items that are up for pre-order though I gotta say, while I’m glad there’s more than just one pair of circle lens, I think it’d be better to create individual pages. Granted, I can see why they did this: to save time whenever they update the page.

However, I don’t know. What if there’s a product that has more than four groups of different circle lens? Wouldn’t it be easier to just put them in different pages? There’s no individual pages for each lens since the diameter, BC, the water content, and the price as well as the promotional picture of the lens are right there so it’s not like you have to move a lot of things.

But for the lazy shopper, it’s a good move and maybe I’m just being nitpicky.

Let’s see… I don’t want to link anything from here because this is pre-order so I’ll save that for the in stock section.

Japan Baby Color Pandora: Same format as the other one except this one has Baby Color and Pandora in their separate groups.

Everything loads up nice and it looks fine. You can click on the pictures to make it larger if you wanted to inspect it more.

From the “In Stock! No Waiting!”:

Circle Lens: This is surprisingly small but then this shop seems to be quite small anyway. It’s an agent place, after all.

Once again, I see a notice before I go scrolling down to the lenses:

All circle lenses on this page are in stock and ready to ship today!

But there’s usually only one left of each kind so act quickly!

Note: If you see a lens marked at a high price, of course I am not trying to sell them for that price! That means the lens has been sold and I am just using the listing as a placeholder until I can restock. The high price is so no one attempts to buy a lens that is not in stock =]

*Note: On the following 6 lenses, the manufacturer, Vassen, forgot to label a few of the vials. (So they are in plain clear factory-direct vials with the color/power on the cap tops). They are perfectly normal otherwise.

Oh, I was going to question why there was such an arbitrary price tag. As usual, it’s grouped to the company’s name.

The prices are a bit more expensive than the pre-orders. I usually see circle lenses for about $18 to $20 but it goes all the way to $20 to $21. Is it because the brand is more expensive? What’s the reasoning behind this? Although, it is possible that this site makes it money from the pre-orders because, as I keep mentioning, it’s an agent first and foremost.

Anyway, as promised, here’s the lenses I would be interested in for sure: Kimchi Bambi Blue, Kimchi Bambi Pink, Kimchi Mermaid Blue, and Fynale J14 Blue.

I do have to mention that on this page all that’s included, along with the picture are: diameters, water content, power (if applicable), and the price.

Also the diameters for the circle lenses ranges from 14.5mm to 15mm.

Lens Cases: There’s not tip box here but it goes straight to the items.

There’s actually all kinds of lens cases which is great but here’s a suggestion: instead of showing the group for the entire set of cases you have, why don’t you have an individual picture of it so the customer could see it by itself? You can always include the group pictures with it but that way it’ll be easier to find out for the customers and what they would want.

Same thing with the colored lens cases, especially if they have the same design. Make it an option or you can do what I suggested earlier and just make it an individual picture.

Japanese/Korean Accessories: Everything here is just adorable! Everything here is just adorable and something I could use for myself in my own warddrobe.

Like the Wig Hair-tie is especially cute! Everything is nicely priced, even the made to order items.

And speaking of which there’s a whole section of homemade accessories. I really want the Bunny Ring but instead of it as a ring, I’d like it to be a hair clip (though that’s just me nitpicking again).

The Squid Ring is to die for. Oh! And the Fairy kei Moon/Space Ring is cute too and even the 2D Ice Cream Ring… Clearly, this is the owner’s own designs which are really cute and everything. These items are all made to order so you can customize the items anyway you want (within reason of course).

There is a notice on the top that says:

About made to order items: Please allow up to 1 business week for the items to be finished.

Fair enough!

Navigation It’s easy enough to find and go through the website. The site itself is pretty small so I wouldn’t worry about any “hidden” links or features that’s dire. The contact page is both on the front and on the Terms & Conditions. There doesn’t need a separate page for that.

Site Mechanics The site is clean, simple, and extremely easy to navigate. As I’ve said, it’s pretty small but that’s okay. While it is built using the free website, Weebly, I’m not going to dock points for that obviously. The menu works great and, while there are a couple “links” that only says to go on the sub-menu. Not a big deal, really. The cart function is used by PayPal itself so you’re guaranteed it’s going to be secured (problems with PayPal in general aside).

Products As expected from an agent of Japanese circle lens, they certainly have them for pre-order. What surprises me is that there other things on sale besides the lenses themselves. Lens cases, accessories, and even made to order products (with the ability to customize to your desires). Not bad!
Prices To be honest, I’m a little surprised that the prices were pretty expected. The made to order were especially surprising to me!
Overall 9/10 – While the site is easy on the eyes and wallet, there’s just one thing that bothered me that took that one little point away: the items that are sold out. Now, I understand why they put them at the very top (as a placeholder for future items) but could they have put them on the bottom? Honestly, had that notice not been there about why the “prices” were so outrageous – I would have thought that the store did sell those at those prices.
Would I Buy From Them? Possibly, depending if there’s something I wanted to pre-order. The prices to buy at the pre-order rates are amazing and it’s beneficial for me because they’re US-based – they can save me some money on international shipping. However, for anything else, I don’t really foresee it unless they add more accessories (which I’m sure they will).
Store http://sugarsandcastle.weebly.com/index.html
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SugarSandcastle
Tumblr http://sugarsandcastle.tumblr.com/

Also, at SugarSandcastle, if your order equals to $60 or up, you get shipping for free (domestic only)! There’s also a customer loyalty discount: if you participated in a pre-order with them before, you’ll receive a 10% off your next pre-order.

Annd for every customer you refer to them and they make a purchase, both you and your friend will receive 30% off of one pair of lenses. There’s a special note for this one:

*Note: the 30% can only apply to one lens at a time. For example, you cannot refer 4 people and receive a free pair of lenses :3. Proof of referral is required.

And there’s even a payment plan! You can process your order with a 50% deposit but you have to contact them to sort out the details.

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