Sunday, June 28, 2015

OOTD - June 2015

Continuation of the "series" I tried to start last month in an attempt to put together better outfits and use as many of my Liz Lisa pieces as possible to figure out which are most useful to me. Also to just share OOTDs on my blog, since they mostly just go on Dayre and IG now.
For April and May's OOTDs click here.

Coordinate 1 -

Coordinate 2 -
The  Liz Lisa 2013 Royal Rose tote fukubukuro floral OP had a tear in the fabric near the ruffle which couldn't be fixed, so I decided to cut it up and did my best with a sewing machine to change it into a suspender skirt! Not the best quality of work considering my limited skills but passable for photos I think lol. Paired with my Liz Lisa sleeveless tie front top, Liz Lisa lace up back pumps and off brand bow headband.

 Coordinate 3 -
Liz Lisa floral OP, Liz Lisa cropped crochet pullover knit, Liz Lisa flower wedge lace-up back sandals, (self made floral headband)

Coordinate 4 -
Liz Lisa embroidery detail OP, Liz Lisa x Yui Kanno rose drop cardigan, Tutuanna socks, Liz Lisa ribbon pumps, off brand headband

Coordinate 5 -
Off brand cardigan, Liz Lisa lace up front top, off brand jeans, Flag J pumps, Samantha Thavasa 2-way bag

Coordinate 6 -
Liz Lisa Floral sleeveless top with ribbon tie and sukapan set, off brand sandals, Liz Lisa ribbon ruffle bag

Coordinate 7 -
Liz Lisa organdy puff cardigan, Material Girl dot dress, Liz Lisa flower heel wedge sandals

Coordinate 8 -
Nineteen89 floral dress, Liz Lisa flower chain cami, Steve Madden sandals

Coordinate 9 -
Material Girl peplum criss-cross top, off brand fitted skirt, Guess? mary jane pumps

Coordinate 10 -
Liz Lisa cropped cambric puff top, Liz Lisa lace flared skirt, Liz Lisa heart suede pumps, off brand bow headband

Coordinate 11 - 
Liz Lisa web-limited faux jumper skirt OP, Liz Lisa knot sandals, Michael Kors purse, off brand bow headband

Coordinate 12 -
Liz Lisa floral 3-tier OP set (with bag and bolero), Liz Lisa flower wedge lace-up back sandals

Coordinate 13 -
Forever21 floral dress, Liz Lisa seashell pouch, Flag J sandals, Liz Lisa dot mesh pork pie hat

Coordinate 14 -
Liz Lisa floral shirring OP, Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals, Liz Lisa ribbon ruffle bag, off brand bow clip

Coordinate 15 -
Liz Lisa floral criss-cross back OP, Liz Lisa knot wedge sandals, Betsey Johnson big bow 2-way bag, Liz Lisa rose hair clips

Coordinate 16 -
Off brand ruffle top, Liz Lisa fruits gingham skirt, Liz Lisa floral wedge sandals, Liz Lisa ribbon belt, (Hello Kitty x Chubby Bunny bow headband)

Coordinate 17 -
Liz Lisa stripe peekaboo OP, Liz Lisa key chain cami, Flag J sandals

Coordinate 18 -
Forever 21 floral dress, Liz Lisa ribbon belt, Flag J sandals, off brand headband & bow clip

Coordinate 19 -
Liz Lisa lace sleeveless top, off brand cardigan, Liz Lisa pleated bow shorts, Liz Lisa floral wedge sandals

Coordinate 20 -
Liz Lisa x My Melody 6th collab vol. 2 gingham sleeve blouse & jumper skirt, Liz Lisa clear pearl sandals, Liz Lisa rose quilted purse

Also a small admin note - I am no longer selling items on Storenvy. I have moved all of my items I would like to find new homes for into a Facebook album here! Please check it out if you are interested :) 

Monday, June 22, 2015

First Buyee haul - LizMero Check floral OP, Liz Lisa Pleated bow shorts, 2012 Premium rose carry & Rose quilted purse

For my past Yahoo JP auctions purchases, I used fromjapan. I was not displeased with the service I received, but I wasn't thrilled with my total after everything was said and done and received, so I thought I would see what else is out there.
A couple of my friends were absolutely RAVING about Buyee. I s2g they would not shut up about it lol. Nah just kidding just kidding. They were just gleefully sharing with the rest of us the things they found, and I got interested lol. And tbh I think I already went a little overboard wtf. (I'm not a huge fan of buying secondhand because I'm really distrusting wtf. But for certain prices or items/listings with good descriptions and pictures, apparently I make exceptions.)

 Buyee is a sister website to Tenso, the business I use for my forwarding service when I purchase from Liz Lisa/Tokyo Kawaii Life. Since I already have an account with Tenso, the sign up process was really easy. Everything is in English, and I just have to fill out/confirm my personal information and register a username and password. There's lots of useful links and answers all around the homepage like the guide for first time users and the FAQ. I decided to link my PayPal account with my Buyee account but you can use a credit card as well.
One thing that I like about Buyee is that they have their own interface that you can use which is especially useful if you can't read a lot of Japanese. You can search Yahoo auctions direct from (change the language to English in the top right if you wish) and quickly add things to your watchlist and buy and bid from Buyee's version of the auction listing instead of having to copy and paste the url etc. For text item descriptions, there's an automatic translation feature built in as well.
There's also a quick link to view the Yahoo auctions listing if you're more comfortable viewing it that way and another to the price estimate calculator. If you're not familiar with how Yahoo auctions works or can't read Japanese, this is definitely an easy-to-use interface for beginners. I usually search using " LIZLISA " or "リズリサ". (If you don't have a Japanese keyboard, you can just search "Liz Lisa" and then one of the listings will probably have the katakana name and you can copy and paste it in the search bar.)
The site is more-or-less self explanatory (I personally mostly just use the search function and then the Watchlist & Auction Information/My Page), so I'm not going to go into incredible detail.
Essentially what's important to know is cost. This Usage Fees page from Buyee explains it all, but basically there are two payments you need to make:
Payment 1: Auction item price + Buyee Service Fee + Transfer Fee
Payment 2: Domestic shipping fee (from the seller to Buyee's warehouse) + International shipping fee (from Buyee to you)
The Buyee Service Fee is determined by the auction item price. It's 500yen for items under 5000yen and 10% of the item cost for items over 5000yen. The Transfer Fee is a fixed 200yen. You will know these calculated costs when you bid on the item. You will have the money withdrawn as soon as you win the auction. If you do not win, there are no fees incurred, and there is no cost to you.
Slightly more unknown is the shipping. Sometimes sellers provide the (domestic) shipping cost in the listing and sometimes they do not. Most often (for Liz Lisa items at least), the weight of the item is not listed which makes it hard to estimate international shipping. You would ideally know all this information in order to most accurately use the Total Estimate tool (available on each listing page and also at the bottom of Buyee's page).
You can see how the fees easily add up. Although an item seems cheap at 1500yen, you should expect to pay about 4100yen total with all of Buyee's associated fees and shipping costs. This cost estimator only uses EMS as the international shipping fee estimate, but now Buyee does have other shipping options such as AIR, SAL and SeaMail which can be marginally cheaper but do take longer to arrive. (They just don't have an option to see those cost estimates on the calculator since EMS is the most recommended shipping method.) I personally usually like to estimate the domestic shipping and the weight to be on the higher side just so I am prepared for what I might be paying.
[For examples of past Liz Lisa/TKL orders of mine with associated weights, please check out my Tenso Usage Fees Examples post. Some of the listed information doesn't directly apply to Buyee since I created it to help with Tenso estimates, but you can still glean the estimated international shipping cost of a certain item by taking the weight from the post. Ex. 1 pair of pumps in box weighs approximately 1620g including the shipping box or 4 clothing items weighs approximately 1460g including the shipping box. Ofc it can depend on how the seller packages the items - whether it is in a plastic bag, heavy duty envelope or cardboard box, but in general it's probably safer to add a little weight for the box if you're trying to allocate money towards your purchase.]
Buyee also has a package consolidation service and protective packaging service at additional cost. Check out the Usage Fees page for more information if you're interested.

I waited until I had about 5 items at the warehouse before consolidating and shipping everything. Since one of the items I ordered was quite large (but empty), I emailed Buyee with a special consolidation request for them to put the items of 4 of my packages inside the fifth. It took an extra day (beyond just the consolidation), but they were able to execute what I wanted without too much hassle. I shipped EMS because of the weight, and the package arrived in about 5 days (one day was a Sunday).
The box was a good size (not too big) and they actually bubble wrapped the trunk and included a lot of air packets for the extra space in there. My items were packed as requested.
  First purchase -
LizMero (Shimamura) check floral OP in beige; Condition: New with tags
I don't know a lot about Shimamura's limited LizMero items. In fact, I actually kind of purposefully avoided the catalogs and any news about LizMero since there's really no way for me to purchase the items directly. (There are now select items available through TokyoKawaiiLife starting in May 2015 but previously there was no direct online retailer.) When I went to Japan in March 2015, I made a special trip to the Takadanobaba Shimamura store to check out if they had any LizMero merchandise, but I could only find a roomwear set. The prices are quite good (since it's from Shimamura) especially compared to Liz Lisa's retail price, so I really wanted to get my hands on a few items to check them out.
This was the first item I was willing to buy (and try out Buyee with) because the domestic shipping was paid for by the seller, and it was a new (unused) item with tags attached, reasonable example photos and the price was not too bad (and below retail actually). Inclusive of all the fees, I would have ended up paying just slightly more than retail if I had shipped it by itself with SAL.
I won the auction on May 9, (payment was transferred to Buyee on the same day,) and received the alert that my package had arrived at Buyee on May 18.

The item arrived as expected. The listed condition was new (with tags) and sure enough, the dress had the tags attached and the original plastic on the chain (which I have since removed to fully check the condition of the chain as well).

 It's actually longer and heavier than I expected! I didn't really have a lot to go on actually but I thought it would be like a cotton blend but it's really closer to a heavier fabric, which I realize now makes sense because it seems like this OP was part of a release during the winter months for Shimamura. This is definitely a dress that would benefit from having those inner hanger straps (which are usually very annoying) but surprisingly doesn't have them. But the overall price of LizMero items suggests that they just cut out things where they can lol. Anyway, the dress is a bit heavy and the straps are really skinny and elastic, so I think this will have to be stored lain flat for best longevity.
This is not a length of dress that I usually buy, nor is the dress made of a fabric that's really preferred here in Hawaii, but it's an interesting purchase. I like that the chain comes with the dress (and is removable ofc) so I don't have to double layer with a cami. I think I would like it more if it was a lighter material and about 2-3 inches shorter, but it's still nice for what it is and what the retail price was! I'm glad to have tried it. LizMero clothes come in size M (equivalent of freesize) and L. This dress is size M and isn't anything close to tight on me.

  Second purchase -
Liz Lisa pleated bow shorts (Autumn 2013) in pink; Condition: Used
They released a somewhat similar silhouetted pair of web-limited shorts recently but in linen. I thought about purchasing them but I really hate ironing and taking care of linen material clothes (they just require more maintenance than I'll willing to allocate so I'd rather not purchase it at all), so I'm glad these are made of polyester which doesn't wrinkle as easily. There was also another pair that released this past spring in 2015 which I liked a lot, but wasn't sure about the bow placement. Basically, I knew I liked these specifically because of how Rei wore/styled them, so I was super pleased to win it! I think I had the opportunity to purchase these online at some point but never made the move? Not sure why but Rei totally sold me on them, unbelievably so.
I won the auction on May 18, (payment was transferred to Buyee on the same day,) and received the alert that my package had arrived at Buyee on May 25.

The item arrived as expected. I guess it was shipped in a Murua cloth bag? Lol.The detail lace was twerked in the wrong direction (like during storage), but is easily fixed or ironed. No huge stains or anything out of the ordinary. The bow on the back might need to be tacked down a bit better, but it's nothing a small piece of thread couldn't easily fix and attention isn't needed immediately.

I had my doubts about these shorts being able to fit on the mannequin (lately a lot of bottoms haven't been able to) but I have about an extra inch in the waist area on my own body, so I guess I'm not super surprised it did end up making it on there lol. And I'm glad it did haha.
 Because it's slightly big on me, it doesn't sit exactly where I want it to on my body and sometimes falls down and inch or two when I walk and move and untucks my top every so often lol.  Regardless, I really love the style of it! The bow is mega cute and there's so much detailing on it with the pleats and the ruffle hem. I also don't really own much (or any?) of this color in my wardrobe so I definitely welcome it.

  Third purchase -
Liz Lisa 2012 Fukubukuro Premium Rose Carry (in store limited); Condition: Used, carry only (no contents)
I don't have a good excuse for buying this. It was purely an impulse buy, and I went past the limit I set for myself by like 2500yen-3000yen wtf. I've seen listings for suitcases in similar condition for a higher purchase price, so I convinced myself I was getting a good deal, but I know I overspent, especially considering what I had to pay for international shipping. I had woken up in the middle of the night to bid (most of the auctions end at around 2-3am my time) so I told myself that since I woke up, I should just keep bidding and really go for it. I got really screwed over because the seller actually extended the listing time so instead of bidding right when it was ended, there was still more time after that for it to be upbidded and omg wtf. Anyway, I got really carried away -__- and ofc I have no one to blame but myself. [There were 10 items that came with the original fukubukuro which were not part of the listing, but I added the reveal photos above in case you were interested since I happened upon them when I was looking for other photos!]
I won the auction on May 19, (payment was transferred to Buyee on the same day,) and received the alert that my package had arrived at Buyee on May 26.

The item arrived essentially as expected (although I wasn't too sure what to expect). The seller hadn't included any close up photos, but I knew that the suitcase was used at least twice and was in decent condition. There aren't any major flaws or nicks in the front or main display areas and the wheels roll well and the handle detracts/extends as it should. The zipper also functions as it should as does the zipper pull lock area.
I've always really liked the design of this suitcase and was sad I missed out on it/didn't know enough about purchasing fukubukuro when it was released. I like the hard case (outer) which makes it seem more durable and that it has the 4 wheels versus the two that the 2013-2015 trunks have. The design also allows for the suitcase to be opened completely such that the top and bottom can both be laid flat when opened. Although there are two interior "zippers" (one on top half and one on the bottom) but the zipper pull is on the opposite side of the fabric so I'm not sure if they're really meant to be opened.

Compared to my 2013 Liz Lisa fukubukuro trunk -
The 2012 trunk is a little bit smaller. And I think overall will hold slightly less items on the inside. It will definitely pass for a carry-on since the 2013-2015 trunks are right at the limit for carry on size (and 2012 is smaller). Both have a combination lock option and both are cute in their own way. I do think that the 2013 actually has a few better features/improvements but it really depends what you're looking for in a case! I'm considering using the 2012 case on my next trip to see how I like it. I don't have much to lose since it's already used anyway lol.
I wonder why Liz Lisa decided to make such a drastic change between 2012 and 2013. (2011's was really similar to 2012's.) Or maybe it was just "time". This leaves me really curious about what 2016's fuku trunk will look like!

See related: Liz Lisa 2015 vs. 2014 vs. 2013 trunk carry fukubukuro comparison and Liz Lisa 2013 vs. 2014 trunk carry fukubukuro comparison

  Fourth purchase -
Carpenter sea frog lure
I won the auction on May 30, (payment was transferred to Buyee on the same day,) and received the alert that my package had arrived at Buyee apparently it arrived at Buyee on June 7, but I didn't get an email?
Yeah idk lol. I told S I was purchasing from yahoo auctions, so he looked for a few things he wanted as well and won this auction. It's a fishing lure btw. I don't really have anything else to say about it myself but since it was part of the package, I'm including it here briefly lol.

  Fifth purchase -
Rose quilted purse in pink; Condition: Used
I already own this purse lol. In fact, it was one of my first real shopping purchases in Japan during my study abroad. And I purchased this purse before I ever made a purchase or went into a Liz Lisa store wtf. It was actually in the Daimaru in Osaka station. My friend was browsing so a little bag for herself, and I saw the small "Liz Lisa" section and got super excited. I really didn't have a good frame of reference for what Liz Lisa pricing would be at that point and it was during my first week (of six) in Japan, but I jumped at the opportunity to get it because it's totally my style, and I could tell it would be a great purse. I ended up using it almost everyday throughout the rest of my study abroad. This purse is also my #1 choice for trips because I like the easy access of the pockets and the general size, but also that it's a shoulder bag. Because I used it so much (and continue to use it so much), my bag is looking pretty haggard. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to get another. This one was listed as used as well but it looked reasonable imo. I just couldn't resist the chance to get another and Liz Lisa hasn't been releasing much (any?) patent leather goods as of late, but it's one of my favorite materials tbh.
(A few of us were actually discussing this the other day, and we think this might be a "licensed" Liz Lisa product among several other bags that was never sold in Liz Lisa stores but is authorized Liz Lisa merchandise based on communication with someone at their Facebook page. I had never thought about it much before though lol and especially not at the time of purchase when I had no frame of reference for what would be appropriate or that even being an option.)
I won the auction on May 30, (payment was transferred to Buyee on the same day,) and received the alert that my package had arrived at Buyee on June 7.

My first impression is that I thought the purse looked really really good! It didn't seem used at all. Upon closer examination, there are a few minor areas where you can tell that the purse was used, but definitely not extensively. I really wanted this bag and was well aware that it wasn't new, but I was actually a bit surprised at how good it looked considering the previous owner must have had it for several years before at least! It was also packaged very nicely.

Old used purse next to new used purse -
Care tag for old used purse (left) & Care tag for new used purse (right)
There is a slight color difference but since mine is much more heavily used than this one (ew body oils?), I'm not surprised. The tag and number on the inside are the same though (not that I actually doubted these were two different bags. And even if they were, I wouldn't have cared too much). I really do love the design of this bag, and mine is actually really beaten up so I'm really, really glad I was able to find another in this great condition. Because I kind of feel like my old purse might be on its last leg and probably can only reasonably survive like two-ish more trips. This is probably the item I'm most happy with out of the whole order!

next trip set up?

fromjapan or Buyee?
I think from now on, I'll probably be using Buyee as the primary search for Yahoo auctions. There is a small price difference between Buyee and fromjapan and for some of the lower priced items (I'm not exactly sure of the threshold), I think fromjapan might be marginally cheaper, but the lines are a bit blurred for more expensive items. The one con for fromjapan compared to Buyee is that you have to put add in a deposit and keep adding to it if you want to use PayPal with fromjapan versus just having the money auto-deducted from your account with Buyee. In that way, Buyee is a lot easier to use. However, there are some items that Buyee limits/prevents you from bidding on for whatever reason (seller has a low rating or not enough proven sales, seller doesn't accept bank transfers, etc.), but you can use fromjapan.
A few days after I wont the 2012 suitcase, there was actually a 2011 case in new condition but Buyee prohibited purchase because the seller's ratings were too low. (They were all positive but there wasn't enough of them.) I switched over to fromjapan to put it in a bid just for fun at the starting price and didn't really pay attention to the listing after that. Someone must have upbidded me right before it ended (thank goodness I guess since I really didn't need two) and ended up getting it for much much less than I paid for the used 2012 one wtf lol. I don't know if that's indicative of anything, but yeah just an anecdote -__-.


Overall, similarly to my experience with fromjapan, I'm not displeased Buyee, but nor am I particularly overjoyed. A lot of money goes to fees and other shipping expenses that really increases the total cost for an item, so I don't think I'd use yahoo auctions in general to purchase anything that I have access to direct from Tokyo Kawaii Life or any of their other online retailers. However, ofc it's a great option for off season or older stock or things that have sold out online or novelty items. The fees are worth it imo for certain things, but I just have to make sure I keep my budget and self-limits in mind so I don't go overboard. I'm happy to have the items that I got my hands on, but I would have been a lot happier if I was able to buy things as a Japanese resident and not have to worry about service fees and international shipping unknowns haha (obviously).  That's not possible ofc, but that's just what's keeping me from being particularly ecstatic about the whole thing, lol. I'm such a cheapo. In any case, Buyee seems reliable and easy-to-use for me, and I will continue to look around Yahoo auctions with it every so often. Hopefully, I'll be better about getting caught up in the bidding though! Lol.

As a small reminder (and I'm sure those of you who actually read my posts are tired of reading these blurbs, but I am constantly getting blamed for not warning people of this, so here I go again) - I am extremely uncomfortable with my personal photos being used for the profit of others especially without a simple source link. In general, I would prefer for my photos not to be reposted without my permission at all, but if you feel the extreme need to do so, I simply ask that you just include a simple link back to my original post. Regardless of whether I watermark every single photo, I do still own the copyright to these pictures and you finding them on Google Image does not mean I do not own them anymore?? (There has been some confusion on that front apparently. And to be clear, Google does even warn you when you click on a photo that the image may be subject to copyright, and Google does not sever the photos from their original pages, so it's easy to find their source if you choose.) I do not blog and post these photos so that others can sell their products that are not associated with me in the slightest. And the response I get when I just ask for my photos to be sourced really discourages me from sharing and continuing to blog. I mean this in the least aggressive way possible, but I'm not just going to throw 80 smiley emojis in this to "soften the tone" because I am serious, and I honestly feel like you should be able to read a paragraph like this without emoticons and not be offended by its message.