If you’ve ever spotted the most kawaii thing ever, only to discover it’s only available in Japan, then what you need is a shopping service. These are companies that will buy the product you want and have it delivered to their office where they then re-ship it to you. They’ll even bid in online auctions for you and can hold multiple items from different shops to send in one package. In return they charge a fee and/or percentage of the item price. Here’s a look at some kawaii friendly services.
Japan Lover Me is one of my favourite blogs, full of cute illustrations and helpful info about Japan. They’ve just added a shopping service too so you have the added bonus of knowing you’re dealing with, and supporting, fellow kawaii fans. As you’d expect, everything is explained in kawaii style on their website.
Noppin are a well-established shopping service, with over 8 years of experience, so you know they’ll be reliable. The website is a bit confusing, but there’s lots of information and they seem very helpful. Frainy used them for a doll pre-order and wrote a review on her blog.
Tenso is slightly different in that once you’re registered and approved, you buy the products yourself, using Tenso’s HQ as your shipping address. This is great if you’re ordering something with a lot of options, like clothing, if you want to grab a pre-order before it sells out or if you just like to impulse buy! Again it’s not the easiest site to navigate, but Sara Mari at Moments Like Diamonds has posted an in-depth review.
White Rabbit Express offer both services so they can shop for you, and also receive items you’ve bought yourself. Their homepage shows what products people have been buying through them, which is both fun to browse through and slightly dangerouns (so many amazing things!). You can also buy popular products direct through their White Rabbit Japan store.
With all these services, make sure to get a quote upfront, so that you’re not left with unexpected shipping costs or fees.
Have you used a shopping service? Let us know how you got on.