Perfectly Imperfect

The goal is not to be perfect; the goal is to be accepted for the imperfections.

Spring Days – Rakuten Japan | Online Shopping

My first purchase on Rakuten, largest Japan online shopping website. I love all the clothes that I ordered from one of the shops ‘Spring Days’. Their customer service is exceptional.

My second purchase from ‘Spring Days’.

[Shopping Experience on Rakuten]

You need some out-of-ordinary (or not, since I am very literal, it could be just me, confused with the machine translated English) common sense to shop on Rakuten. I am not complaining. I am thankful that they have the built-in auto-translation service, but you need to do some guessing sometimes.

I wish they had the permanent cart system. They might have wish-list, but there is no button to add the time to wish list. That means, if you don’t check out soon, the items are removed from the cart!

Tips: Save the urls of all the products you are interested to buy in a text file, so that you don’t have to go back to search for the items again. Worse when you don’t remember what you added earlier! 

There is also transitional problem from their English and Japanese pages. You will need to fish around to find your shopping cart because the default cart icon doesn’t show the contents. Sometimes you are led to the shop’s Japanese shop front which is filled with all the cute symbols – Japanese – that don’t make much sense to me.

[Product Description]

That can be a tad challenging, especially when it comes to the measurement. I can read some Chinese, and since Japanese text includes some Chinese (and they normally mean the same as Chinese), I can try to guess. Not all pages are translated so well, so I had a hard time trying to understand the sizing when they provided 2 sets of measurement with a meaningless translated ‘tag’.

Fortunately, the Japanese lives up to their great customer service. For both purchases, I had emailed to the customer services several time to clear my doubts. They normally reply very promptly. Note though, the response is probably translate too, but it’s easy to guess.

[Quality]

The workmanship is superb for the small price tag. I love tunics and long blouses, always. We don’t have many quality tunics in Singapore. Many miscellaneous shops import clothes, including tunics from Hong Kong and Thailand, but of inferior quality.

You can determine the quality of workmanship from the tidy hemming, as compared to the fraying and messy thread runs. The materials are good too. I can’t say for other shops since I only bought from Spring Days, but I am quite sure I am turning into a loyal customer already.

The style of their clothes is absolutely me-style. Comfy.

[Checking out]

Cons:
1. A little challenging because the explanation provided for various entries are in Japanese.
2. Shipping fee is not included, they will inform you of the shipping after you check out, which I am not comfortable with. Shipping from Japan to anywhere is comparatively more expensive, so you want to know how much you are spending.

Tips:

  • Open an account with Tenso.com (forwarding service), it is especially useful if you are buying from different sellers. It works like VPost. They provide you with your unique shipping address in Japan, and at checkout, select domestic and enter the address that they provided you with. 
  • Tenso runs regular promotion, so it may be better if you are able to wait for the promotion. Note though, tenso also charges consolidation and handling fee.
  • Subscribe to tenso and the shops’ newsletter, so that you are kept in the loop of sale – remember, their past summer season items are really our current season items since we only have summer all year-long (I am referring to Singapore readers, in case you wondered). 
  • Buy from sellers that offer free domestic shipping, so that you only pay for international shipping.
  • Email to seller before checkout with the items you wish to purchase, ask for the estimated shipping fee.
  • There is no absolute way to compare Tenso’s fee with the shop’s estimated fee because tenso’s calculator uses the weight of your order, whereas the shop usually don’t provide the weight, but just the fee. 

Using Tenso.com: Use this only when they run promotion otherwise you may end up paying extra Yen 490 (handling fee); use them if you are buying from different sellers and/or buying more, the consolidation service may save you substantial amount of shipping fee which you may incur if paying sellers separately.

My second order is shipped using Tenso, they are running a 50% discount on international shipping fee for order exceeding Yen 5,000. This is only useful if your shipping fee exceeds Yen 1,000 (because you will pay Yen 500 (50%) + Yen 490). If the estimated saving is lesser than Yen 200, you might as well have the shop ship directly to you, which is faster; of course, if you are buying from other sellers, this option still works.

You can consolidate all the orders when tenso received all your orders, then apply the discount code before making payment.

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