If you’ve clicked on this post, I’m guessing you’ve already heard about Eltoria’s advent calendar but in case you haven’t, I’ll give you a quick run-down –
Eltoria is a British Youtuber with just under 150k subscribers. She became popular through her beauty advent calendar unboxings, in particular, the infamous Zoella advent calendar last year! She also does regular unboxings of beauty subscription boxes on her channel.
This year, Eltoria had a vision to create her own advent calendar which would combine all of her favourite things about advent calendars and this was launched in September alongside her first line of ‘merch’. It’s a 12 day calendar priced at £49, she even did an unboxing of it which showed the 9 key items everyone would receive plus the 3 items which were mystery items. She gave examples of the types of items you could expect and explained that she had done this because she loves the element of surprise in advent calendars. It seems that Eltoria fans went crazy for it because the limited number (think it was 200) sold out in a flash!!
A couple of weeks later, people started to receive their advent calendars and that’s where it all started to go horribly wrong!
Now, rather than me ramble on too much, here are some links to videos which claim to expose the truth behind the calendars –
There’s plenty more where these came from, just type ‘eltoria scam’ into Youtube and you’ll see what I mean!
I think Just_Nicole_UK’s video was one of the first videos addressing the issue and at this point, I became really intrigued as to what Eltoria was going to do to resolve the situation. Then, on 20/10/18 she released an explanation video, which you can view here – Eltoria Advent Calendar – Behind the Scenes … although, I can’t say I recommend watching it because it’s actually quite infuriating.
Starting with her tone, let’s face it, she’s clearly fuming and she speaks in a patronising way throughout the video. In fact, if it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would’ve ever voiced my opinion on the matter, but to address her fans and customers in such a condescending way she should be pretty ashamed, after all, she wouldn’t be where she is now if it wasn’t for them!
Now moving on to the biggest issues people had with the calendar. She made it clear that she collaborated with brands for the calendar and people feel that if she was given free items to use in the calendar that she shouldn’t be including them in the costings and should maybe include some higher value items to counter-balance the free ones. This is where I disagree, as long as she has permission from the brands to use them, I think it’s fair game. I would imagine all companies that produce advent calendars try to source the items as cheaply as they possibly can to ensure the production of the advent calendar is still viable. In fact, even if all the items were provided to her by the companies for free, this does not affect the customer because they will still be receiving 12 items of a certain value. Yes, she would be raking it in – but she definitely had other expenses to produce the calendars.
Here is her breakdown of the value of the box –
A lot of people were angry at the over-inflated RRPs of some of these items but the fact is, that’s what you would pay for each of those items if bought individually whether they seem worth it or not.
The candle does seem a little steep at £11.95 but she has used soy wax which instantly makes it higher quality and if you look for handmade soy wax candles on Etsy you can see that she has prices similar to a lot of those.
The pop socket is a strange one, from what I’ve heard on the reaction videos you can pick pop sockets up for about £1 but to be fair to Eltoria, I considered the fact that this is actually her ‘branded merch’ and will therefore have a heftier price tag. I decided to compare this with another UK Youtuber’s merchandise and the first one that came to mind is Alfie Deyes/Pointless Blog. He’s obviously much more famous than Eltoria with millions of subscribers, book releases and god knows what else… He sells his own range of pop sockets and they are £10, so still expensive but actually cheaper than Eltoria’s?!
So for me, the 9 key items in the calendar are completely above board, not technically much of a saving at a value of £58.19 but that should be fine since there’s another 3 items which Eltoria classes as ‘gifts’ from her to you.
This is where Eltoria made her biggest mistake because I’d bet my house on the items being her unwanted products from past unboxings she did on her channel which means she wouldn’t have permission to re-sell them. A lot of the items people received were the types of brands you typically find in subscription boxes and the amount of evidence to support this in Just_Nicole_UK’s video really leaves no doubt. The Body Shop White Musk body lotion that Youtuber – Willow Biggs received infuriated me because when Eltoria unboxed this on a previous video she made it clear that she hated the scent… so why on earth would she then go out and source more of these to put in her own advent calendars?!?! Willow clearly received Eltoria’s unwanted PR (which she had tested on the back of her hand).
In some ways, I don’t suppose Eltoria can just admit to her mistake because that would then prove that she has broken the law by making profit from free PR she has received and also by using products from brands without their explicit permission. It would also be gross to admit that she gave out products that she has opened and in some cases tested!
Going back to my point about her patronising tone in the explanation video. Up until that point I actually felt terrible for her, it was clear that she had made a silly mistake by using up her unwanted PR but you can tell how hard she had worked on it with the design, the hand-wrapping, the gorgeous box, the signed postcard etc etc. She must have been so proud of what she had achieved to then receive as much hate as she did would have been like a punch to the stomach.
I do believe that she usually donates unwanted PR to charities because I don’t think she would be willing to name a charity if she hadn’t really done it, I just think that she will likely be donating a lot less this year for obvious reasons!
I really hope there comes a point where she admits to what she has done (or provides the proof that she purchased the items, wouldn’t that be interesting!) because she obviously isn’t a bad person and never intended to upset or disappoint her customers.
I hope everyone who purchased the calendar and isn’t happy with it can get a refund (watch Petty Paige’s video for tips on this) and to everyone who is happy with their calendar, that’s great news!
… Rant over!
I’d be interested to hear your opinions on this and also, if you’ve done a blog post on this topic, feel free to leave it in the comments section because I’d love to hear what other people think.
Thanks for reading