Sunday, November 6, 2011

Seller Review: Rakuten and Yumesakibana

I am happy to report that my first experience with Rakuten, a collection of Japanese shops that ship internationally, was a great one!

As mentioned earlier, I needed a yukata that would properly fit my wrist-to-wrist measurement for my dance lessons. Since I'm tall and 138cm in that "wingspan" measurement, cheap vintage yukata were pretty much out, nixing my usual haunts of Ebay and Ichiroya.

I sucked it up and went to Rakuten, which several friends like using, but no one I knew had ordered kimono through it and I figured I'd pay through the nose for a new, unusual size yukata.

Even though I can get the gist of most Japanese-language pages, I was happy to find that Rakuten will automatically ask you if you're an international customer or Japanese when you first load up the site.

I chose International, which made all the pages pop up in machine-translated English. If you wanted, like me, to check details in Japanese, there's always a button you can click to see the page in the original Japanese.

Like Ebay, you can sort items by price, which is useful. One thing I found odd is that you have to click another button to only see items that are in stock. Why would you care about something that went out of stock in 2008? Unless there's a chance they'll restock?

Searching for yukata, I was able to narrow down the list pretty quickly, and could even drill down through yukata categories by color or set. If you're someone who needs a larger size in general, search "yukata" plus TL, 2L, 3L, 4L, or 5L.

I settled on a pretty black yukata with cream and crimson lilies from a shop called Yumesakibana ("a dream's blooming flowers"), entered all of my information to become a general Rakuten member (which is free and allows you to build up bonus points through some purchases), and purchased the item. Yumesakibana emailed me first with the exact shipping quote, which I had to agree to before they would run my payment, either PayPal or credit card. They were polite, prompt, and spoke English well in their emails.

Within two weeks, for less than $100, I had a brand-new, quality yukata in my wingspan sent by expedited EMS shipping. It's beautiful and exactly as described. Plus the nice folks at Yumesakibana sent as a surprise bonus gift a free koshihimo (the hip tie you use to blouse the kimono over when adjusting for height) and a cute bunny and sakura kinchaku (the drawstring bag you see used a lot with yukata). :D

Seller: Yumesakibana 夢咲花, through Rakuten
Item: 5/5
Shipping: 5/5
Communication: 5/5

Based on my experience, I can happily recommend Yumesakibana. I also plan on doing more general kimono shopping on Rakuten in the future!

(If you've shopped on Rakuten, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments. I'd love to hear what you've bought and how it worked out.)


Aichi said...

Do you know any other Kimonoshop on Rakuten which accepts Paypal? I live in Germany and really donnot own a credit card. Most of them only accept payment via c.card ...

Christina said...

I don't, unfortunately, but if you look at a shopping service like Noppin they can accept PayPal.