Liz Lisa's official blog and really liked the cursive "L" handles and the cute fairy tale/cinderella print on the cups.
So I found an item I was interested in but now I had to figure out if it would be worth it to try and get it with the shopping service fees that I'd still have to pay...and pick a shopping service to start researching lol. I remembered that @rebbykitty had successfully bought from yahoo jp auctions previously and suggest fromjapan.co.jp to me so I decided to go with them. The auction listing for the cups was actually a "Buy It Now", and since I was willing to purchase the mugs for 2000yen, I just went for it.
Princess print OP and Princess print skirt -
I was already looking at the auctions and decided to bid on a listing for a teapot set novelty item as well. It wasn't "Buy It Now", and I was interested to try out actually bidding with fromjapan so I went for it. I was outbid a two times with about 20 hours left and wasn't going to keep going since I had already purchased the mugs, but changed my mind and got caught up in it and bid one more time than I should have with 14 hours left. Meanwhile, I found another listing for the exact same teapot set, but "Buy It Now" with 16 hours left for a reasonable price, so I scooped that as well knowing full well that I would probably be winning the other listing's auction :|. It was a weird (online) shopping day for me, so I know I made a few unreasonable decisions, but I really liked the look of the set...lol.
official blog says the pot is made from heat-resistant glass :) The print can also be seen on the 15th anniversary Wonderland print OP and Wonderland print skirt
On my 2015 web-limited trunk as a "table" lol -
The two sets together -
I don't feel comfortable enough with fromjapan to write a general what-you-need-to-know/basics post, so for now I'll just do a quick walk-through with my personal experience with these specific items without going into too much detail. If I end up making a few more orders and completely figure it out, I will try and do a more thorough post if anyone is interested. During my first few auctions, I had to ask Rebecca a lot of mundane/simple questions lol. The website isn't hard to use, but I think once you've used it multiple times, it's just easier to know for sure you're doing the right thing.
So far my experience with fromjapan has been reasonably pleasant on the service end. They send a lot of update emails which I personally like. They got the job done. I easily made an account, connected with PayPal (my preferred method of payment), clicked on Place Bid and followed the steps - including adding funds to my deposit. (If your deposit is unused after a number of days, it will be refunded to your PayPal account in yen, so don't worry about adding too much and having it stuck with fromjapan. It is your money, and you will eventually get it back if you don't use it or you can withdraw it yourself.)
fromjapan charges 200yen to bid on an auction listing. So in order to place a 2000yen bid, you have to start with 2200yen in your account. If you lose, you get all the full amount back to your account. Once you place your bid, you are locked in and must pay for it so be sure you want to commit before confirming your bid. All the listings that you're currently bidding on will be in your "Now Bidding" section.
When/If you win an auction, it will then be in your "Winning Bids" section and you will receive an email asking you to make a payment for Charge 1. I used my existing deposit for this which was very easy.
You will also be asked to provide the shipping instruction for your order(s). Apparently they recently made a change where you can inform the shipping instruction before your package arrives at their warehouse for the fastest processing. I chose to wait until after all my packages arrived to fill this out though because I wasn't sure about the condition of the things I was shipping/was generally unfamiliar, and I wasn't in a rush to receive them. When you are setting the shipping instructions, you do not have an estimate provided, but you still have to choose what kind of packaging you'd like (regular, extra secure, minimal) and what carrier you'd like (EMS, FedEx, AirMail, SAL, Surface Mail). Choosing with so many unknowns made me really nervous because you can't change your mind about the shipping instructions unless you pay a 2000yen fee.
After I set my shipping instructions, my items were packaged within 2 business days. I paid for Charge 2 and then my items were shipped the next day. Charge 2 ended up being a lot more than I expected. I had a lower guess for every component of it - the domestic shipping and the international shipping + fees. Also, I chose to get the extra secure packaging since I was shipping fragile items, and I couldn't be sure how the original sellers would be packing them (if it would be suitable enough for international travel) which cost an additional 1500yen and added weight and size (in terms of dimensions of the package) as well. If you're just shipping clothes, I'm sure this isn't as much of an issue. I suppose I might just not be great at estimating how much this charge will be but it was around twice as much as I expected it to be :O.
There is actually a lot of information that fromjapan provides, especially in this Q&A section. For new users (like I am), I would definitely suggest a read through to understand everything a bit better. Their website will explain it a lot better than I ever could. You should also definitely read all information for all the options the website provides for each step - it's very thorough and helpful.
Extra secure packing -
This is the description from fromjapan:
I really didn't want my items to arrive broken so I decided to try this out even though I didn't really want to pay an additional 1500yen for it (1000yen + 500yen new box fee) because I didn't know how the original sellers would be packaging the items (and if that would be suitable for international travel).1) For fragile items we shall double box your items or we shall pack them using secure bubble wrap. The fee for this shall be 1000 Yen per box for items which can be sent via the post office and 2000 yen for larger packages (car parts, etc).2) When packing using this method, the weight and size of the item may increase.3) The price of using a new box when needed is not included in the extra secure packing fee.
|This is how much bubble wrap there was total - a good amount|
I consider my first experience with fromjapan for auction bidding a success. I would consider using them again (although I'm not closed off to exploring other options as well) and cautiously recommend them to my friends while letting them know I don't have a lot of history with the site yet and to be careful because your total might end up being a lot higher than you might expect. For websites like this, I think I'd have to try it 2-3 more times to make a solid 100% recommendation since there are a lot of options and variables for businesses that do something similar and I'm so new to it, but so far so good! Thank you Rebecca for introducing me to this easy to use service!
Jan 12 - Register with fromjapan, add deposit via PayPal, bid on teapot set 1 (am highest bidder).
Jan 13 - Add more money to deposit, win "Buy It Now" auction for pink/blue mugs, paid for Charge 1 with deposit.
Jan 16 - Outbid on teapot set 1, add more money to deposit, bid until highest bidder on teapot set 1. See "Buy It Now" option for teapot set 2, add more money to deposit Make stupid decision to "Buy It Now" for teapot set 2 while still winning bid for teapot set 1, paid for Charge 1 with deposit.
Jan 17 - Win auction for teapot set 1, paid for Charge 1 with deposit.
Jan 21 - Pink/blue mugs arrive at fromjapan warehouse.
Jan 22 - Teapot set 1 arrives at fromjapan warehouse.
Jan 29 - Teapot set 2 arrives at fromjapan warehouse. Create shipping instructions to have all items consolidated, extra security packaging (for fragile items), ship via SAL. (No weight or dimension info is provided here by fromjapan so I don't have an estimate for the shipping cost and cannot change the shipping instructions unless I pay a 2000yen fee.)
Feb 1 - Charge 2 is assessed and paid. Even though I selected SAL earlier, I was given the option to pick a carrier again and decided to go with EMS because it was cheaper.
Feb 2 - My items are shipped.
Feb 6 - Items have attempted delivery (I'm not home so I have to pick it up the next day).