I must rather shamefacedly admit that I had never bought anything using Japanese auctions before the experience I am about to tell you about. I used to psyche myself out whenever I read online explanations of using a shopping service, and just sort of gave up on the idea. And now? I've decided to stop being a wimp and limiting my options for secondhand lolita goods!
After hunting fruitlessly on the western secondhand market, and also Japanese secondhand stores, I decided to trawl my way through Yahoo Auctions in an attempt to find the black bag my heart was aching for. A friend recommended Japonica Market to me for this very purpose in the past, so I decided they would be who I would try this time.
On 30th January I decided to go for an Angelic Pretty bag that only had about 17 hours left on its auction. I wasn't sure how often Japonica checked their emails so I did what their website advised about auctions ending soon, and sent a deposit to them via PayPal. And then, I went to bed because it was coming up to 1 in the morning.
About an hour after I went to bed, I received an invoice for the PayPal fee for the deposit. I paid this, and then simply had to wait for Japonica to bid on the item for me.
I was emailed the following day from their agent, Tajima (who always emailed in such a timely, easy to understand manner, making the process very simple for me!) about the fact I had won the bag. I then waited for the bag to reach their warehouse. This happened on February 6th, and they emailed me asking for the go-ahead to pack up the item to be shipped out to me. I said this was fine, and they responded the next day (the 7th) telling me they could take a few days to do this due to a backlog of orders they needed to work through. Immediately after this email, however, I received my final invoice, which I paid the same day. Later on, I got an email telling me the package would be shipped out the following Monday as this was a Saturday.
So, on Monday 9th February I received a final email from Japonica telling me my package had been shipped out, along with a tracking number to use.
The package made it into England on the 12th and then... the tracking information remained the same for 5 days. What on earth were they doing with it?!
On the 17th it finally started the journey to my local postal depot, was retained on the 18th (which of course meant a nice big import VAT charge looming as I completely forgot about trying to bypass the fees by asking for the package to be marked down. SO annoyed at myself!) and on Friday 20th, I was given the fee slip.
On Monday 23rd February, I finally had my package! By the time it came I had half forgotten about it and it meant I was super excited to open it!
My bag was sent out in a sturdy box.
After slicing it open, I was greeted with this.
The bag was carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, and had no space to move around in the box. The bottom of the box was also carefully padded with bubble wrap.
The bag out of the box. Here you can see how they secured the bag straps. The bag itself was stuffed with huge wads of tissue paper to help it retain its shape.
My beautiful bag! It's Angelic Pretty's Jewel Ribbon Boston Bag (2011 release I believe.)
Apart from the minor hiccup about ending up shelling out an extra £22+ because I didn't mark the package down, I would say this was an overwhelmingly positive shopping experience! Tajima was a pleasure to work with due to their fast emailing, and easy to understand breakdown about how far along in the ordering process I was. The packaging of my item was great, and I really liked that you get asked beforehand about whether or not you are happy to go ahead and have the item sent to you yet. Japonica's fees were incredibly reasonable given how attentive their service is, and I would happily recommend them to anyone. Thanks, Japonica Market!
I hope you found this review helpful! If you have any questions about my order, then please feel free to ask! See you next time ❤