The Buxton Bag is an over-the-shoulder leather bag with numerous zippers and compartments designed to store all the things (wallets, clothes, cell phones, water bottles, etc.) folks carry around in the course of a day. For about $20, plus $8.95 shipping and handling, you get the bag and a free My Li'l Reminder, a digital voice recorder that fits on your keychain (we have a separate review on that gadget). For an extra $8.95, you have the option to get a second bag. The Buxton Bag is made of genuine -- albeit very thin -- leather, and is available in red, tan or black. http://www.consumersearch.com/as-seen-on-tv/my-lil-reminder
Most reviewers don't have very kind things to say about the Buxton Bag. Users say the bag's leather has a plasticky feel and that it doesn't seem very sturdy. We also found reports of zippers falling off or leather separating from the seams after only a day of use. Others complain that the cell phone compartment won't snugly hold most popular models. When it comes to carrying things, a reviewer for AssociatedContent.com says the bag was "more of an inconvenience and aggravation than it was a super organizer as the infomercial claimed."
Although the bag has an enticing price tag, reviewers say, you are better off spending more for a durable, well-constructed leather bag that will hold up over time.
1. On Common Ground
This blogger says the Buxton Bag's shoulder strap is too wide, the leather feels like plastic, and there are too many zippers and pockets. Numerous comments attest to the bag's flimsiness and shoddy construction.
Review: Ugliest Bag Ever: Buxton Bag, Dec. 30, 2007
Reviewer Donna Thacker buys a Buxton Bag and tries to fit her stuff in it. She complains that the cell-phone compartment is too small to fit her LG Shine, and concludes that the bag is "more of an inconvenience and aggravation than it was a super organizer as the infomercial claimed."
Review: Product Review: Buxton Over the Shoulder Organizer Bag, Donna Thacker, July 1, 2009
After sifting through comments about the Buxton Bag sent in by consumers, this reviewer provides a synopsis. He says the bag is flimsy, its zippers break easily, the leather quickly comes apart from the stitching, and the cell-phone compartment is oddly configured.
Review: The Buxton Bag from Hell, Editors of HonestInfomercialReviews.com, Jan. 4, 2009
More than 70 owners post reviews of the Buxton Bag, where it earns an unimpressive rating of 2.5 stars. The majority of users are disappointed by the flimsy material, which began to fray and tear almost immediately in some cases. One user says that the outer zipper fell off after only three days of use, and "it's very clumsy to carry if you load it up like they demonstrate on TV."
Review: Buxton Bag, Contributors to Amazon.com
The concept is simple: You request an insured envelope from Cash4Gold; place your gold, silver or platinum jewelry in the mail and wait for a check or electronic payment. Unfortunately, credible review organizations say it doesn't always work that smoothly. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has collected hundreds of consumer complaints about Cash4Gold.
"There appears to be a serious problem with packages sent to Cash4Gold not being received," the BBB states. Cash4Gold includes $100 mail insurance with its prepaid envelope -- $500 if you use FedEx -- but if you send items worth more than that, the BBB recommends buying your own mail insurance and using a courier service with delivery confirmation.
When a reporter for KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah, tested Cash4Gold by sending $60 worth of gold jewelry, Cash4Gold offers just $9.58 for the shipment. "Good Morning America" conducted a similar experiment; Cash4Gold offered $66.05 for $410 worth of gold. In both cases, local gold buyers offered far more for the same gold, much closer to market value. In the "Good Morning America" test, Cash4Gold doubles its offer when the reporter asks for her jewelry back. ConsumerReports.org says its test yielded similar low offers from the three gold-redemption companies it tested, including Cash4Gold.
Cash4Gold says it will return items to customers who reject the payment as too low -- but only if you request the return within 12 days of the date Cash4Gold issues its check. If you select direct deposit instead of a check, you waive the return policy.
Credible broadcast and print sources have evaluated Cash4Gold. ConsumerReports.org and "Inside Edition" both conduct tests by sending pre-appraised gold to Cash4Gold and documenting the resulting offers. ABC's "Good Morning America" and several other TV stations do the same. The Better Business Bureau's website provides a clear summary of customer complaints. ComplaintsBoard.com posts dozens of complaints, but there is no way of verifying that the complaints are all written by real consumers. The Consumerist, a blog affiliated with the not-for-profit Consumers Union (publisher of ConsumerReports.org), includes a post by a fired Cash4Gold employee alleging that the company is a scam -- along with a lawsuit filed by Cash4Gold in response and a follow-up investigative article that supports the former employee's claims.
In this review, ConsumerReports.org editors send identical pieces of gold jewelry to several different online gold-redemption companies (including Cash4Gold) and compare payments to local jewelry store and pawn-shop prices. All the cash-for-gold companies offer far less money than the local options. ConsumerReports.org offers helpful tips for avoiding getting scammed when selling gold.
Review: Cashing in Gold? Here's the Catch, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Nov. 2009
2. Better Business Bureau
This page summarizes the hundreds of complaints the Better Business Bureau has received about Cash4Gold. They give the Florida-based Cash4Gold a C rating, which is up from a D-minus it received in 2009. The BBB has revoked Cash4Gold's membership in the Bureau, as well.
Review: BBB Reliability Report for Cash 4 Gold, Editors of Better Business Bureau
3. Good Morning America
"Good Morning America" tests three mail-in gold companies by sending $350 worth of gold. Cash4Gold offers the lowest price: $66.05. When the journalists ask for their gold back, Cash4Gold doubles the offer. This article provides a wealth of advice for consumers considering selling their gold to a mail-in company.
Review: Gold Rush: People Rush to Sell Gold Instead of Finding It, Elisabeth Leamy and Vanessa Weber, March 20, 2009
4. Inside Edition
Syndicated TV newsmagazine "Inside Edition" conducts an investigative report, sending gold valued at around $1,000 to Cash4Gold. They receive an offer of around $200, which is doubled to $400 when they call to get the pieces back.
Review: Cash4Gold's Superbowl Ad, Editors of Inside Edition, Feb. 4, 2009
5. KSL (Salt Lake City, Utah)
A reporter at this NBC affiliate conducts an investigation of mail-in gold companies, similar to the one later conducted by "Good Morning America." She sends $60 worth of gold to Cash4Gold and is offered $9.58 in return. Like the "Good Morning America" reporters, this reviewer gets a better offer from a local buyer, and she offers a list of tips for consumers.
Review: KSL Investigation: Putting Money-for-Gold Offers to the Test, Debbie Dujanovic, March 5, 2009
After publishing its "10 Confessions of a Cash4Gold Employee" article, Consumerist.com (whose parent company is a subsidiary of Consumers Union, publisher of ConsumerReports.org) publishes this investigative article on Cash4Gold's business practices, sending in gold after having it appraised. All the mail-in gold companies offered amounts lower than market value, but Cash4Gold's was "the lowest amounts of any firm."
Review: The Article Cash4Gold Doesn't Want You To Read, Ben Popken, Sept. 2, 2009
The Consumerist.com blog publishes this post from a former employee of Cash4Gold, outlining the various steps in what the former worker describes as the "Cash 4 Gold Scam." Cash4Gold filed a defamation lawsuit against this former employee and Consumerist.com posted a long feature investigative article backing up the employee's claims. Both are linked here.
Review: 10 Confessions of a Cash4Gold Employee, Ben Popken, Feb. 2, 2009
This website posts dozens of complaints written by consumers say they were ripped off by Cash4Gold, although there is no way to confirm their complaints. Posts include the original fired-employee posting (discussed in the above review) and a response from Cash4Gold CEO Jeff Aronson.
Review: Cash4Gold Complaints, Contributors to ComplaintsBoard.com
The Swivel Store is advertised as an organization solution for anyone with a lot of bottles they would to access quickly -- spices, pills, craft supplies, etc. The plastic shelving unit needs no assembly, and it can hold up to 20 bottles. When put to the test, reviewers say, the Swivel Store works pretty well -- with a few qualifications. It needs a space that's at least 11 inches tall and 4 inches wide (about the size of a cereal box); those with smaller cabinets complain that the Swivel Store doesn't fit. Also, it will only accommodate small- to medium-sized bottles, so large or oddly shaped bottles won't fit.
A reporter at WVEC in Norfolk, Va., tries out the Swivel Store and says it works well; however, a reviewer at KVUE in Austin, Tex., complains that it doesn't fit into short cabinets or accommodate large bottles. Reviewers on Amazon.com have mixed reviews. Those who have tall cabinets and try to store smaller containers give the Swivel Store positive remarks; those with small cabinets and bulky bottles say it doesn't work. Reviewers on Walmart.com echo these comments.
1. WVEC (Norfolk, Va.)
Reporter Sandra Parker tests the Swivel Store with a viewer. They say it is simple to use; the shelves slide out easily and feel very sturdy, and they like how neatly all of their spice containers are displayed. For the product to work properly, the two note that containers should be evenly distributed to avoid it tipping over.
Review: Does it Work? Swivel Store, Sandra Parker, Aug. 23, 2011
2. KVUE (Austin, Tex.)
Reporter Quita Culpepper tries the Swivel Store in her home and is frustrated that it doesn't fit in her kitchen cabinets. Placed on an open shelf, Culpepper finds that it does slide and swivel, allowing her to easily locate the spices she's looking for. When asked to give it a thumbs up or down, Culpepper gives the Swivel Store a thumb "in the middle," saying it does work, but only in cabinets that are tall enough and only with bottles that are the right size.
Review: Does It Work? The Swivel Store, Quita Culpepper, Updated Sept. 15, 2011
3. WXIA (Acworth, Ga.)
Karyn Greer tests the Swivel Store at the home of a local viewer. The kitchen cabinet is tall enough to accommodate the Swivel Store, but some taller and wider bottles don't fit. Once inside the cabinet, the Swivel Store easily slides and swivels, making finding her spices a snap. The homeowner gives the Swivel Store two thumbs up.
Review: Try It Review: Swivel Store spice rack, Karyn Greer, Sept. 7, 2011
Over 50 customers review the Swivel Store on Amazon.com, and their reviews are mixed. Satisfied customers find it a simple solution to keeping their spices organized. Unhappy owners say the Swivel Store only fits inside tall cabinets and that larger bottles don't fit on the shelves. A few also comment that they find the plastic to be a bit flimsy.
Review: Swivel Store Organizer Storage System, Contributors to Amazon.com
Almost 30 customers review the Swivel Store on Walmart.com, and the majority of them say they would recommend the product. Positive and negative reviews mirror those found at other sources.
Review: As Seen on TV Swivel Store Organizer, Contributors to Walmart.com