Sunday, October 7, 2007

Where to Buy?

If I were to be in Japan still, I'd be in makeup heaven (except for when the bills come). Now that I'm back home in the states, I'm on an endless search for sources that will supply my new found hobby. Below are a few online merchants (either found or learned from fellow Japanese makeup fans) who carry several popular Japanese brands and do ship internationally. Some are in Hong Kong, some are in Japan or North America.

Adam Beauty, Hong Kong based
Pros:
+ Offers a decent variety of Japanese brands
+ Most reasonable pricing, comparable to the Japanese retail price of the product, only with international shipping already included in the price
+ Ship registered mail for only $2 extra!
+ Fast shipping, 3-5 days, items are very well packed and will arrive safely at your door
+ Occasionally, Adam (the seller) will include some freebies with your order, especially if the order is large
Cons:
- Limited stock, only stock several items under each brand
- Color selections are also somewhat limited
- Items are never on sale (perhaps because they're so discounted already?)

Gooddealer.com, Hong Kong based
Pros:
+ Offers a wide variety of Japanese brands with much better stock and wider color selections
+ Somewhat decent prices, but more expensive than Adam Beauty
+ Occasionally, certain discontinued items will go on sale with a "special price!" notation next to its name
+ Fast shipping, 3-5 days, items are very well packed and will arrive safely at your door
+ Occasionally, Kevin (the seller) will also include freebies with larger orders
Cons:
- International shipping is charged by the grams + $2 registered mail + a separate handling fee. Generally, a $150 order will incur at least $15 shipping and handling.
- Some items have huge markups!

Sasa.com, Hong Kong based, think Sephora and then some!
Pros:
+ Fast shipping, 3-5 days
+ $6 Flat fee international shipping for registered mail, free shipping for orders $75+
+ Each order will earn points, and the points can be traded for freebies!
+ A lot of the time, the items ordered also come with promotional freebies or there will be promotional freebies included with each order!
+ Frequent sales and promotional discounts (More often than not I would only pay about half the Japanese retail prices for my makeup!)
+ Vast number of Western, Chinese, Japanese, and some larger Korean brands and products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, personal care, accessories, books!
Cons:
- Usually, prices are much higher, some of the items have gigantic markups!

Bobodave.com, Taiwan-based
- I haven't bought from this vendor, so I can't comment just yet. They seem to carry a good variety of Japanese brands, although with a small selection of products and colors from each brand. Their prices look a bit expensive also, and I don't know about the shipping at all!

Ebay, various Japan and Hong Kong based sellers
Pros:
+ Accessible to anything available within Japan, especially good when you want to get your hands on those pesky limited edition items!
+ Guaranteed authentic products
+ Fast shipping, 3-5 days even for regular, non-registered air mail
Cons:
- Inconsistent pricing, some will give you a good price, some will not
- Expensive shipping, similar to Gooddealer. If you make a big purchase, they might give a shipping discount.

FANCL, North American branch
Pros:
+ Orders $35+ ship free within the US, items well packaged and will arrive safely at your door
+ Freebies are included with every order
+ Occasional sales and promotions
Cons:
- Have a rather complicated and user-unfriendly points reward system. In fact, it was so complicated I didn't even bother to read all the instructions on how to redeem.
- Don't offer the seasonal collections and limited edition makeup items available in Japan. I wouldn't have a problem if these collections aren't so pretty! Grr...I don't get it, why not offer them here too? I'd buy them! So would a bunch of other people! Very disgruntled.

DHC, North American branch
Pros:
+ Carry most skincare and makeup items available to the Japanese market, that is, except for the seasonal makeup collections (see the Cons)
+ Prompt shipping with flat fees, will ship free with orders $75+. Personally, I find FANCL's shipping policy a lot more agreeable, especially when I never spend more than $20 at DHC.
Cons:
- Same with FANCL, don't offer the seasonal collections and limited edition makeup items available in Japan.

5 comments:

Citrine said...

This post is awesome (I've stopped by you blog quite a few times already)

I hate evecare (sorta) I was at their site looking for an anna sui powder case I thought they still have that older edition but it just turns out that they never updated the site...when I was asking about returning, the associate told me that they will update the site (never did)and I have to make sure that they receive it within 7 days ...

cosmeticamerica is worse (same powder case scenario...) , I have to return it to their warehouse...in Hong Hong...

For both cases, I kept them with me...(too lazy to resell at this moment)

Dalenna said...

Hi Citrine!

Thank you for visiting (and several times, too)!!!

Actually, I have to agree with you on Evecare. Funny, because I sort of got into a feud with them over Anna Sui too!!! In fact, I hate them so much now I took both their link and deleted their mentioning from this post. Good thing you left me a comment :D I would have forgotten I had mention them. Urgh.

I have had any experience with cosmeticamerica. But I'll take your advice and stay away :D Thanks!!!

Alicia said...

I'm currently in Naha/Matsuo Okinawa and trying to find the komenuka bijin line. Do you have any idea where I might be able to find it? Or is it mainland only? Thanks!

D. said...

Hi Alicia,

I've never been to Okinawa so I truly can't help you there.

However, I just went to Nihon Sakari's website (maker of Komenuka Bijin) and it seems Komenuka Bijin as well as their newer line of NS-K skincare are mail-order only products. The good news is that according to their FAQ, orders up to 3,150yen (with tax) ship for free and after that, there is only a 300yen shipping charge, even to "remote islands." So if you are living in Japan and read Japanese, you should order from their online shop:
- https://shop.nihonsakari.co.jp/

If you live outside of Japan, there are other online merchants who carry these products outside of Japan and will ship internationally. Check out those listed above. The official US online shop is:
- www.komenuka-bijin.com/

I hope this helps.

Alicia said...

It definitely does! I think I might look into different brands if it's all mail order. But thank you! I truly appreciate your help!

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