I've been using various types of organic virgin coconut oil on my skin for a while. My favorite so far as been the one offered by The All Natural Face
I'm familiar with the various grades of coconut oil. High quality virgin coconut oil should be clear like water when liquid and white when solid. It should also have a mild coconut smell. Any other color means there are contaminates in it and if it has no smell, that means it has been processed and treated. If it's really good quality, you can eat it and it should have a pleasant taste. I have also cut open my own coconuts and poured milk from them. I am familiar with the product and have tried a several kinds from several sellers - both on etsy and commercially.
I know what a coconut and fresh milk smells like.
Recently, I decided to make a purchase from Country Soap Shack
on etsy. I bought 4oz of what was listed as Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil. The seller lists the item
Certified by QAI.
This is how coconut oil really and truly smells!
When you take a whiff of this virgin, pure oil you will be mentally transported to a Caribbean or South Pacific island.
This oil is processed by technology developed in Japan using a centrifuge and gravity.
They harvest the coconut and the coconut milk is extracted by centrifuge with a density separator.
Virgin coconut oil comes directly from the Fiji islands and we can attest to its purity and content.
When solid it is white, when liquid it is colorless.Solid at cooler temps will liquify when warm or can be placed in warm water.
It has the most intoxicating coconut fragrance.......its texture is soft-solid with a creamy texture while at room temperature.
Use straight on the skin, as lip balm, to blend with other fixed oils and essential oils, in creams and lotions.
SAP value: 0.194. (Food grade.)
Sounds good. I paid $2.99 for 4oz, plus $2.50 for shipping. I get what I pay for I guess.
The oil arrived quickly as pictured. No problem there. It's cold now, obviously, so the oil was solid and I used a bowl of warm water to melt it so I could pour it in a small wide mouthed container for easier use. As it melted, I noted the oil was yellowish, but figured that might be from the plastic container so I didn't think anything of it. I poured it into my clear jar and the oil was, indeed, yellowish. There were also bits floating in it - possibly from the coconut meat? Still, maybe it was fine. Certified QAI, right? Sure.
I use coconut oil as a moisturizer and later that night, I did just that. I noticed the oil had a waxy/nutty smell, more similar to the way raw shea butter smells. Well, overnight I developed hives in all the places I put the oil! Maybe it wasn't the oil, I thought. So the next day, after showering, using something else and having the hives go away, I tried again. SAME REACTION.
(BTW - I did taste this oil and it tastes like it smells - waxy.)
Last night, I left feedback for the item at the seller's shop. It was marked NEUTRAL - not negative - because my experience with her was positive, but with the item was negative. It does not impact her 100% rating.
Arrived quickly, but oil had a weird waxy/nut smell. Also gave me hives, which I have not had happen with other coconut oil. Not sure what happened. :(
This morning I wake up to find this message from the seller (who had left me positive feedback in return, mind you):
November 12 2011 8:41am EDT
The oil is SUPPOSED to have a nut smell.That's why it is called VIRGIN Coconut oil.And it is also not my fault that you seem to be allergic to it.That feedback was uncalled for.
DO NOT visit my store again.
WOW. Seriously. OVER a NEUTRAL FEEDBACK?
This was my reply:
November 12 2011 10:55am EDT
Uhm. No need to be RUDE. I didn't leave you negative feedback - I left neutral feedback. I have used SEVERAL grades of virgin coconut oil and none of them smell like WAX. ALSO, I have NEVER gotten an allergic reaction to any coconut oil I have used. Again I left NEUTRAL FEEDBACK for the ITEM. I did note you shipped fast and that I didn't know WHY I had a reaction but did not BLAME YOU. The feedback was for the ITEM.
I would have gladly purchased other items from your shop again, but after this RUDE FEEDBACK, I will now not only be purchasing from your shop again, but will be telling others not to as well. Bad business practice.
(Erm, yeah, typo there - I meant "not only not be purchasing".)
Annnnd then, the seller proceeds to jump all over me:
November 12 2011 11:06am EDT
And Uhmm..You could have contacted me about any problems with the oil.I have sold thousands of this same oil and only you are the one to have issues with it.It would have been common sense to contact the seller.The feedback reflects against my business which I do take very personally.I work very hard unlike other sellers to offer high grade service & products.Thank you it's is a relief that I know you will not shop here again.
I will also be telling others about your tacky feedback & horrible little business via my MANY blogs,websites and social networks,etc..It goes both ways.
Thank you I will a Wonderful Day!
So... basically, "boohoo you ruined my streak of 1000+ positive reviews" is what I'm getting here. Seriously, it was NEUTRAL FEEDBACK. And I like her slam at other sellers right there, too. As if the other sellers on etsy are inferior and are terrible and she is the BEST.
I wrote back:
November 12 2011 11:15am EDT
Neutral feedback is NOT the same as negative feedback. It doesn't impact your rating and I didn't say anything about your business being horrible. It was feedback on the ITEM. Yes, Virgin Coconut Oil has a smell - a COCONUT SMELL. Yours has a waxy/nutty/butter smell. If that is acceptable to other buyers, that's fine, but they should know the smell is stronger than other high quality virgin oils I have tried - which at this point is probably 6 or 7.
I'm sorry I was the first neutral feedback in your business. If you had a problem with my feedback, then you could have contact me and asked what you could do, not yell at me and be rude straight out.
Feel free to share this exchange wherever you like - I will be - but do me the favor of at least being honest and posting the ENTIRE exchange, starting with the feedback I have left and your first message to me.
And this is the last thing she wrote me:
November 12 2011 11:27am EDT
As a buyer it is your responsibility to contact the seller if your were in any way unhappy with the product.I do not read minds and can only correct an issue that has been brought to my attention.I was offended that you failed to contact me about the oil.Our oil IS one of the highest quaility on the market.I only reacted to your rudeness and please by all means do not contact me again.Since it is plain to see that you would not be happy not matter what I attempted to do.
I hope you run your little shop better than what you treat other sellers.
I do not take kindly to be harrassed or threatened and neither do my lawyers.
Uh, actually, as a buyer, it is my responsibility to pay you for the thing I buy and then leave feedback. I didn't leave negative feedback saying this was the worst product ever and saying not to buy from her shop again. I just said I had a weird reaction and the oil had a strong smell that I've not had in other coconut oils - ALL TRUE.
My second favorite is how she reacted to my "rudeness." Someone please objectively tell me how my original feedback was rude. I understand it wasn't a gushing "OMG I LOVE YOU" but it certainly wasn't rude as far as I can tell.
My favorite part is how she casually throws in the threat of lawyers and how I am harassing her. Erm, yes, please invite the lawyers in to talk about how you flipped your shit over neutral feedback from a $2.99 item and have been nothing but belligerent and overly defensive. Please, BRING THEM.
Hey, seller, for future reference, the ability to "Kiss and make up" is there for completed neutral/negative feedback. I could have used it... but I'm certainly not going to now. I only wish I could change it to a negative.EDIT:
Here are some photos of the Country Soap Shack
"organic virgin coconut oil" next to a commercial food grade non-GMO, unprocessed, unbleached coconut oil we use at home for cooking. (The commercial one has a pleasant coconut smell and taste, if you're wondering.)
The Country Soap Shack oil is on the left and the commercial one is on the right in all the photos.
You'll note that the Country Soap Shack
one is indeed yellow colored and there is all sorts of stuff floating in it. I certainly wouldn't call it high quality. I also wish you could smell it because the Country Soap Shack
one has a smell that is actually unpleasant. The more I smell it, the more is smells like butter and slightly rancid oil. The commercial has a nice, light coconut scent. Coconuts are NOT NUTS and they shouldn't smell like nuts or wax or butter or rancid oil!