Archetype – A Rant

For the longest time I was running across LOTD’s using Archetype Cosmetics eye shadows in these amazingly unique and deep colors.  I did a little research and only read positive reviews on the product.  Once I saw that the MMM as well as Phyrra recommended them, I broke down and placed a big order.

October 31, around noon :

In my giddy excitement I went over the site a few times and placed a big order.  Normally I limit my first purchase with a company to only a few items around 20$.  This went way outside that guideline as I was so enamored with a lot of the colors.

Placing the order I paid immediately via Paypal.  I never received confirmation of the order (apart from Paypal) and I never received an invoice.

November 2, Monday :

After seeing some more looks over the weekend with Archetype and realizing they had a few Halloween shades I wanted to get, I sent them off a quick email asking for an invoice.


I hope you’re having a good Monday after the Halloween weekend!!

I was wondering if it was possible to get an invoice for my order?  I would like to purchase a few more shadows, but I want to be sure they were not on my original order.

My order info is XXXX

I never got a reply.

November 5th, Thursday :

I start peeking around the website again, this time I take note of this on their site :

You should immediately after ordering get an automated receipt; if not, please let us know and we’ll send you a personal one. We fill orders in chronological order. Also, we have been putting the shipped-through date on our pigments & face pages, too, so everyone can see exactly what date we’ve worked through. Currently demand is pretty high and we’re running around 3 to 6 weeks approximately… I know that’s a wide variable but we tend to average 4 weeks to 5 weeks pretty regularly. If you need your order sooner, please feel free to let us know, we can often accomodate (sic)you. If you do NOT receive an order confirmation, please email us at – you might also check your spam filter too.

So I email them again, asking for another invoice and get no reply.

November 16th, Monday :

After waiting for several weeks, I send another email.  I send it to the email which I paid via Paypal as well as the one listed on the site (they are both different).


I’m just sending another email to follow up on the order I placed on October 31, my order info is XXX.  I’m still waiting to hear back about an invoice and I was also wondering if it was possible for you to give me an estimate of when it might be shipped?  I see you state that there is a place I can check to see where you are shipping wise, but I can’t seem to find it.

Thanks so much for your time!

I hear nothing back.

November 23rd, Monday :

In talking back and forth with a friend online she tells me she received her order.  She placed it on November 2nd and received it on November 20th.  I just about fell over.  If they are filling orders chronologically, where is mine?  Her’s was for about 20$ worth of items, so it was smaller then mine, yes, but still it was placed after.

So I sent the above email again, saying it was now my fourth email attempt to contact them.

I also spoke to Phyrra who explained she was also having issues getting them to respond to her.

I also message them through various other places, such as MySpace, as she recommends.

At this point it’s been a while, and I’ve gotten no reply, so I also open a Paypal Dispute.

November 25th, Wednesday :

After waiting TWO days for someone to respond to my Paypal Dispute and sending a plethora of email to all the various email addresses I can find, I STILL haven’t heard anything, so I escalate the Dispute to a Claim.

Archetype has until December 4th to respond.

November 27th, Friday :

I send another message via email as well as Paypal.

I’m very sorry to have had to file a dispute, but it’s been almost a month now and I’ve sent almost a dozen emails asking for either an invoice or some sort of response to my rather large order.  I’ve not heard anything, but now I’m finding more and more reports of people NOT getting orders or responses at all.

I’m afraid that at this point it’s a lost cause to expect anything, so I’m respectfully asking you to refund my money.

Thank you.

I get no reply.

I know from experience if someone files a claim against you in Paypal it freezes those funds from your account.  So at this point I KNOW someone at Archetype must notice a chunk of change missing from their Paypal account, and I KNOW they are still accepting orders.

December 3rd, Thursday :

I still haven’t heard anything, and when I check Paypal, they have not even bothered to reply or refute my claim.

December 5th, Saturday :

I get an email while standing in line at Big Thunder Mountain at Disney (I can’t breath without my iPhone) that Paypal received no response from them and found in my favor, refunding my payment.

Would I recommend ordering from Archetype Cosmetics? NO.

  • I never heard a word from them after I paid.
  • Never answered the countless messages I sent.
  • Never even responded to Paypal.

I have no idea how they manage to stay in business with such shoddy, well, NO Customer Service.  The shipping has apparently always been a problem with them, often having long delays.  But one or two replies or follow ups to my inquires would have been enough to assure me that YES they are working on my order.  YES there is someone who’s reading email, and YES they know they have my money and owe me product.

Overall: 0/5


39 Responses to “Archetype – A Rant”

  1. Wow! That’s awful! I’m glad you did get your money back in the end but it’s sad that their lack of customer service has made their product so hard to get! I know a few people who think this is a good thing, that it makes customers feel special if they get their orders when others don’t and think this is a good business practice. I strongly disagree and am sad to hear that Archetype has been so disappointing to you especially since I’ve been wanting to place an order and had hoped to use a few christmas bucks to do so.

    Thank you for posting this. 🙂 If you ever do get a reply back, or any kind of follow up, I’d be very interested in hearing about what they had to say about all this. You certainly waited a more than reasonable amount of time for a response and/or product to be shipped. I’d be interested to know if they had a good reason for their lack of response.

    • I’m not sure how it’s supposed to drive up demand for the product when most people are complaining 🙂

      You’re welcome! I’m really glad things ended up working out, I would have been out way too much money to be able to get over it.

    • “I know a few people who think this is a good thing, that it makes customers feel special if they get their orders when others don’t and think this is a good business practice.”

      Whoah. Wait. What? Srsly, people actually think that? I have no idea how to respond to that concept.

      • Yeah some people think it makes things seem more exclusive…like cliques in high school. It’s a bad idea in general but I do know people who are defending it.

  2. I once ordered from them after much thinking, contemplating, and back-and-forthing.

    I had the same experience – and I live about 30 minutes from them. Peeping blue hell, I could ***drive over*** and pick up my order. And from my own researches, apparently, some folks have done just that.

    Still, even though it would be relatively easy for me to pick up my order, there is no way in heaven, hell, or Woolworth’s that I’m going to give this person money. It’s one thing to conduct yourself like you’re just doing some hobby-crafts, occasionally make some and sell some for friends, but that’s about it. It’s another to go out, get a domain, find hosting for it, create a web site and all its attendant content…and then not follow through with those orders that do come through.

    • “It’s one thing to conduct yourself like you’re just doing some hobby-crafts, occasionally make some and sell some for friends, but that’s about it. It’s another to go out, get a domain, find hosting for it, create a web site and all its attendant content…and then not follow through with those orders that do come through”

      Very good point!!!

  3. The first two times I ordered from them I got no email receipt. I contacted them via email. I heard nothing. I found them on MySpace. I contacted them via MySpace, and I got a response. I got a receipt, and I got my orders and some extras.
    This last time that I ordered I placed my order before Halloween. I got no email receipt. I emailed them SEVERAL times, I got no response. I contacted them via MySpace, and I got no response. I opened a PayPal dispute after it had been 6 weeks from my order and got no response.

    Correction on my timeline:
    Oct. 13 – no response
    Oct. 26 – no response
    Messaged on MySpace
    Oct. 29 – no response
    Nov. 8 – no response
    Nov. 13 – no response
    Opened dispute with PayPal on on Nov. 23, as this was 6 weeks from when I had placed my order.
    Received order on Nov. 24, so on the 7th week.
    Closed dispute on Nov. 24.
    Wrote a letter and sent it through the USPS postal system requesting a reply on Nov. 23.

    Received no response.

    • I can’t even tell you how glad I am you actually received something!!

      I’m curious to see if they reply to your letter.

  4. O.O Wow. I placed an order with them on Nov 25th and got it today! My order was $19.75 including shipping. I also never got an invoice or a reply to my e-mail for an invoice though either.

    After I placed my order though I started looking up reviews for them and found all the horror stories and started to worry. I actually called the antique store where their website says they fill orders and asked the woman who answered if Archetype Cosmetics was still located there. The woman told me she should transfer my call to Holly. I was pretty stunned when I heard her on the phone all I could say was that I was just wondering if they were still at the star center antique mall and hung up.

    All that being said its really sad how inconsistent they are and that they completely lack cusomer service because the shadows are so beautiful and unique. I am really glad that paypal found in your favor though!

  5. Wow, that’s pretty bad customer service. I can’t believe that they didn’t even respond to the paypal claim! Makes you wonder wtf is going on behind the scenes of running their business if a paypal claim against them is not important enough to get their attention …

    I will be adding them to my list of companies to stay away from!

  6. I wish her customer service didn’t suck, because the makeup looks like it doesn’t. I also wish I had recieved my order. Ugh.

  7. I had a very similar experience back in April. I was so mad because I didn’t research them first and spent wayyy too much money! I asked on Makeup Alley if anyone had ordered and immediately got around 30 angry responses! I was very disappointed. Exactly 44 days after I placed my order, I created a Paypal dispute (which, like yours was not responded to) and they refunded my money. Three weeks later, in JUNE, after ordering in the beginning of APRIL), I actually recieved my order! How weird is that?

    The colors are actually gorgeous, but I never use them. One, because I don’t want my readers to think that I condone giving these people money and two, because I don’t want to like them and think “this order will be better”.

    With all the paypal disputes, I’m surprised that they can even stay in business. I have a feeling that they changed their paypal to a different email though, since they used to use the one on the website.

    • The PayPal email address on file matches the one on their website when I did my dispute. When I called my PayPal Account rep, they told me that was the only information that they had for her. I’m VERY tempted to call that mall.

      • I believe that Holly (the owner of Archetype) is only there on certain days? I remember I found a site that outlined the dates and times she’d be in, I called on a friday and I remember thats one of the days shes supposed to be there. I think maybe the fact that she co-owns the antique store is maybe why Archetype suffers? Too many pots on the stove?

        I’d love to know why she doesn’t hire additional help or fulfill basic requirements like answering customer e-mails. It seems like if Archetype could get its act together they could have a very devoted customer following because they do make such wonderful shadows… pink with green iridescence and sparke ;~; so pretty.

    • Geesh…if I receive my order from them (which I originally placed back in June, I think) I will fall over from shock. I can’t even recall what all I ordered – the PP listing cut off at a certain point.

      With all the Paypal disputes, I’m surprised PP even lets their account stay open. (Then again, all the disputes eventually resolve / PP gives the money back, so they earn interest off the float because it can’t be withdrawn until the order is marked as “shipped”…maybe that’s why they don’t act to close it.)

  8. It really is appalling to see that you and phyrra and LOADS of other people have been in this situation =\
    Slow turnaround is totally fine if you communicate with your customers. I could wait 3 months for eyeshadow if I actually knew I was going to get what I paid for.

    What a bummer.

  9. I thought about ordering from them back in October but was hesitant after I asked them a question about swatches(for some reason their photos don’t show up on my screen) and so stayed away from them. I’m glad I did but it’s a disappoint considering all the beautiful photos I found when I looked at their photos on the work computers in the school’s lab.

  10. I know Phyrra went through similar. She waited 5 weeks for her order, sent them like 6 e-mails, and eventually just printed out a letter and mailed it to them.

    I think she’s taking them off her recommended list, now. I ordered a while ago, I’m going to go see if I got any kind of confirmation e-mail…

  11. Yeah, I spent $50 there on Nov 19th and didn’t get any kind of e-mail from them at all, I had to dig through my Paypal receipts to find anything at all.

    Time to e-mail them, I guess!

  12. I had a similar experience, until a kind soul sent me some links with info about Star Center, and finally I called Holly who was very nice, but it took three calls, five emails and about four months before I received my order. Good stuff, crappy service.

  13. blegh. their website looks like something a goth 16 year old would cook up on a sick day ten years ago. the navigation is atrocious, the menu is hard to read, and it has SIDE SCROLLING. i hate side scrolling. the foundation page has no photos at all. if it wasn’t bad enough attempting to buy foundation without being able to see it firsthand, now this company expects you to buy their foundation based solely on description? “this color is tan. this one is not so tan. this one is kinda yellow. everyone is kinda yellow so this will totes work on you.”

    good thing you got your money back 🙂

  14. I ordered $20 worth of product from them September 3rd, 2009. Still haven’t gotten my order, nor have I gotten a reply to any emails. I’m extremely patient and I can wait 2 months or so without complaining… but seriously. This is just disgusting and I feel cheated.

  15. Why would anyone want to wait that long for an order? Two months; three months? That’s insane, and, IMO, totally not worth it.

  16. Apriltini – I’ve read lots of Archetype related threads, and quite a few people seem to think that with the samples being priced at $0.25, it’s worth the wait.
    However; I agree with you – it’s totally insane to have to wait that long, but for those who don’t mind I guess it’s not a big problem. For me, personally, it’s not the waiting time that bothers me the most, though, but rather the lack of decency and respect this company shows their customers. We, the customers, are responsible for these people still being able to maintain their business and their company, and therefore I think it’s shocking the way they treat us. With the world “shrinking” (as a result of the Internet), don’t they (or “she”, if this is a one-woman operated business) realize that the word goes around pretty quickly those days? Or don’t they care at all? I don’t understand why they continue to maintain a business of which they seem not to care the least, it doesn’t make sense to me at all. Why not shut Archetype down, and devote themselves 100% to this antique mall they are running, at least until they figure out how to resolve these matters.
    I’ve personally ordered from them 2 times in the past; my first order took about 8 weeks to arrive, my second arrived after 5 weeks. Both of these orders were made during the period when Holly had hired staff (a nice and helpful girl named Lisa, who quit after just a few months), but since then they are obviously back in their usual “route” again, which is a pity since I think they offer great products. That being said, there are a LOT of other MMU companies out there making just as good or even better products as well as offering superb customer service! Check out Phyrra’s great list of MMU companies (on her eminent blog – hi Phyrra 😉 ) and go spend your money with companies who really deserve it. At present moment – Archetype don’t.

    And thank you, Inky, for referring to me as a “kind soul” – I appreciate it ;))

  17. Very interesting comments on Archetype! It is very sad that Holly can’t seem to get her act together as her colors are beautiful & her samples are generous. She also has some beautiful lip glosses. I have ordered from her I believe 4 times & every time I have received my order. However it has not been smooth sailing – I believe there has been at least one phone call if not two to her for each order. She sounds very sweet & has the best of intentions – I’ve told her what is out here for comments & offered suggestions for improvement. She makes promises but just can’t seem to keep them. People offer to help her – Kelli of “skelliton” was a friend and Lisa was the inspiration for Lisa’s Busted Camaro.

    Bottom line with this company is if you keep tabs on your order & call Holly you will eventually get your stuff. I have samples and full sizes. She works at the information desk at the Star Antique Mall on Thurs – Sat. She even called me at 5:30 one Saturday night.

  18. I’ve now e-mailed about 4 times about an order I made in October and I haven’t gotten a reply. I escalated the matter into a claim through Paypal and that’ll close on Friday in my favor if Holly doesn’t answer. She’s not even reacted to my claim which to me speaks volumes about customer appreciation.
    I think Archetype’s stuff is lovely but with a non-existent CS, the business is on a downward spiral. I’ve tried to be understanding and patient and everything, but in the end I’m not going to do business with a company that is willing to take my money but not provide me with the product. Archetype is not a charity, therefore I expect to get what I’ve paid them money for.

  19. I have made multiple orders with them…once it took me 6 MONTHS to get an order…but silly me got a couple smaller ones on time after that so I placed a 30 dollar order on July 5th. I have sent multiple e-mails and finally filed a BBB complaint since it was too late to file a pp claim…they never responded to the e-mails or the BBB complaint so screw them…i’m really disgusted and dissapointed

  20. DestinysWhisper January 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I just placed an order with them =/ I really hope that I do not experience this same issue. I *just* went through the exact same ordeal with Calypso Minerals. I placed an order with her, received and order confirmation and they received payment that same day. Never receiver shipping confirmation, only *one* email in response to my 5, with an excuse about everyone being extremely ill with the flu claiming the order had been shipped when it hadn’t. Then nothing. No responses to email or through paypal. I had to dispute and inevitably file a claim against them through. I’m going to be right mad if I have to go through the same thing with this woman too. But, that is why I paid her through paypal. So far the only company I’ve had repeated excellent experiences with is Fyrinnae cosmetics. I guess I should stop attempting to broaden my horizons and stick to the people who care about their customers.

  21. I just placed an order the other day…and I’m kinda worried now. I’ve ordered from them before and it took about 6 weeks to get here… :/ Does anyone know the phone number for the Antique Mall?

  22. I only live about 15 min away but I never tried walking in, I never called also.
    This is my 2 order and it’s been past 45 days now. I filed with PAYPAL but still haven’t heard anything back.

  23. Just wanted to post an update since I know this is a blog with a lot of readers. I’m a big fan of Archetype products (still wish she could get her act together). I spoke with the owner today & she is working on a Valentine’s collection which she hopes to have on the site sometime next week. I asked about Lisa and she is still working with Holly but has had health issues. She did work quite a bit earlier this week so they’ve been able to catch up on some stuff.
    Now – does this mean go out & order right away?? No, but it means the company is still there. They do have awesome products, just be prepared to wait about 8 weeks to get an order and don’t start off with a $40 sample order.

  24. I have the same experience, sadly. Never got my order. Never got my refund. I didn’t use paypal at that time…