Wednesday, July 31

Review: Rakuten.com Online Shopping Service

Hello guys!
I'm back with a vengeance parcel.

Life has been pretty great so far in Manila! But last week I've been bored and looking around for something to do in our place aside from checking out new music, talking to my family via LINE, reading what's left of my books, playing 3DS, sketching. Sometimes I get the itch to try something new.

So... RAKUTEN (lol I don't get it why I landed here, too.)

Rakuten.com online order

Have you tried ordering at Rakuten? There's not a lot of info on ordering from here compared to other sites like Sasa.com, Adambeauty, Yesstyle etc., but I found out that prices here are quite cheaper than all those sites!

I've only previously ordered internationally via Sasa.com, HK's biggest online shop. So here's the rundown:

RAKUTEN vs. SASA.COM

Ease of use: It's easy peasy to order at Sasa.com, very straightforward, and almost 100% English; Rakuten.com needs a lot of getting used to. Registration forms are a little daunting to fill, too. I've encountered several error messages (in Japanese, no less!) and if I couldn't read Hiragana/Katakana I would have been at a loss. Product descriptions may also be displayed in Japanese, or only broken English at best, which is sometimes really annoying.

Product availability: Rakuten.com is more substantial in their Beauty, Cosmetics section since it has a lot more sellers that offer a variety of products, whereas Sasa.com is the seller itself (we're pitting them as fair as possible here since Sasa.com is exclusively skincare/cosmetics/accessories)

Price: Rakuten wins hands down. Well that's stemming from what products I could compare! For instance, a 30ml Kose Suncut SPF 50+++ is priced at P215 ($5-6) at Sasa.com, while at Rakuten.com it's P170 ($3-4).

Shipping: There's only one shipping method used, and that's EMS. They have a "per-gram" shipping chart to guide you on what shipping fee to expect. I understand why EMS gets a bad rep for being one of the most expensive courier option. It's my first time, too, to try EMS on my own but I've never been happier and more content!

Look at me with my parcel containing my Rakuten online order. Happy face not in picture! :(

My online order from Rakuten arrived

It was shipped wayyyyyyy faster than the international online order at Sasa.com (and even that other batch of order in our Sasa.com parcel with my former co-workers) but it was probably because we took advantage of a free shipping promo (for completed transaction worth more than $230 / PHP3,000) we didn't know that the free shipping option used the HK mail delivery (2-3 weeks depending on your location), rather than EMS expedited shipping (7-10 business days).

I've set my trust on Sasa.com for good service / successful deliveries, so I needed to build trust with Rakuten, too.

So, I ordered face wash!

Yep.

(But- but- but- it's not an ordinary face wash! It's my favorite Japanese face wash in the WORLD huehuehuehue!)

I just mainly wanted to try out Rakuten first without spending too much and getting disappointed if the service turned out sucky. Imagine forking over $200 for bad service, product disappointment, or worse, the probability lost parcel?! (Try as I might, I could NEVER locate my Sasa.com parcel with the tracking no. that they gave me) So to try Rakuten out, I needed to start with something small.

Luckily, I found that my favorite face wash, Rohto Shirochasou Green Tea Foam was being sold by a seller in Rakuten for $4 (!!!) It made me go "WOAH GETTT!!" In the brick and mortar stores here in the city, a tube of this costs about $10 (wtf ripoff) and I almost bought it, too, when I worried about running out of this face wash that my sister gave to me 3 months ago upon her arrival from Japan.

rakuten beauty goods
Um, thumbs down to too much bubble wrap. It's not environmentally friendly ~.
Here's the face wash. These are really good. I never feel clean if I don't use it after I get home from work. And for some reason I get the feeling these are my only defense against pimples / ravaged face.

Rohto Shiro chasou green tea face wash

I get barely 4 hours of sleep most days of the week, eat at erratic hours (if I get too absorbed at work, I skip lunch / dinner time altogether which has happened more times than I could count. My breakfast is usually only Fruit Loops, or a piece of wheat bread, weak green tea, or milk) and I'm exposed to all kinds of pollution since I walk to and from work. Cherry on the disaster cake: I work nights.

Rohto Shirochasou face wash

Below is a snap of my tired, worn-out and almost depleted Rohto Shirochasou.

Rohto Shirochasou green tea wash

This was given to me 3 months ago from big sister (It should last for a long time but me and Greencross use it 2-3x daily.) My sister wanted me to try a new face wash after giving me the Hada Labo Tamagohada face wash. We're both big on face cleanliness! I'm lucky she understands my need to have a clean face. Because pretty face "<" clean face yeah!



It's relatively the same as any online shop. You search / choose your product, click on Add to Cart, then proceed to Checkout when you're ready to pay!

Before you pay, you're going to be asked if you have an account (if you haven't logged in) or if you want to register. When processing my order, I actually didn't register on their site. I just used the Non-Member option:

I encourage you to actually register for an account. They have these points system that gets you rewards and freebies, I guess. But using Rakuten as a guest, it will be more or less smooth sailing. I filled out their online form for shipping and payment details. And also, I used a credit card, so I can't say if other payment methods are more tedious.

VERY IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ORDERING:

  • If ordering multiple items, make sure that you're buying from ONE SELLER. I cannot stress this enough. If you buy X product and Y product from 2 different sellers, you're going to have to fork over 2x shipping, d'oh! I almost made that mistake.
  • Here's the thing about shipping fees: It gets added to your total bill right, so you won't actually know yet the actual shipping costs even once you close the deal, you just rely on the seller to finalize and give you an invoice in the form of a Rakuten seller's email. The bad thing about this is when you're doing bulk purchase and there's a lot of items there and you're gonna have some surprise at the end of the transaction about total weight in grams. The good thing is that sellers stick to the "shipping fee guide" chart (from earlier), and my personal experience with the seller, they are quite honest and won't jack up the shipping fee.
  • You will be charged immediately upon order finalization, even BEFORE the seller confirms your payment / processes your order.
  • You will receive 3 emails. First is for confirmation that you have voluntarily made a transaction on Rakuten, this gets sent upon finalizing checkout payment methods. The second one is your total bill with detailed weight check and final price check. The final email should then include the EMS details, like tracking code
And yes, all of the emails are in JAPANESE:



Don't fret. There is no need to reply. But if you have a question, you will not be able to talk to the Rakuten customer service contact center; You have to directly message the seller. All dealings are between the buyer and the seller.

In the email, all you just need to confirm are the personal details that you previously entered (name, address, total bill, credit card number, etc.). Or that's what I did anyway. Better yet, you could use a Chrome browser to enable the auto-translate feature to decrypt Japanese characters to English (broken English, but NEVERTHELESS, it's English! 仕方が無い! Can't be helped, ok?).

So you can see there in the Email images I screencapped for you, that I processed the order July 25 11:20 AM, and I received the parcel in good faith on July 30, 11:59 AM!!!! And delivered to me straight to our condo (I paid PHP PHP70 to the post man ---PHP50 for the customs fee, PHP20 as a tip.)

All in all, despite my irritation at Japanglish / Engrish product descriptions and random Hiragana/Katakana/Kanji error messages, I thought that for the first try, Rakuten certainly delivered!

Thanks for reading!
Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below!

13 comments:

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Smartan Dad said...

Thanks for sharing. Rakuten has its domain for Malaysian but I did not try shopping with Rakuten Malaysia before.

文学少女 (Literature Girl) said...

Oh you guys are lucky! I wish that there will be a Rakuten Philippines soon.

Trina Swanepoel said...

really nice! :)
❤ HerNameIsTrina ❤

文学少女 (Literature Girl) said...

Hi Trina
Thanks so much!

bowlofire said...

Hi, can I ask you a few stuff?

Were provided a tracking number and how long the package took to get to your house?

文学少女 (Literature Girl) said...

@BowlofFire

Hi! I don't remember ever depending on a tracking number to track the Rakuten EMS package so I don't think I was given it.

It took 5 days to get to my place in Manila.

Thanks for commenting!

Sarahbotbonkers said...

Hi! I've been looking into ordering from Rakuten myself and I'm so happy to read your post because I'm in the Philippines too. I haven't tried ordering from Sasa yet and I honestly don't want to deal with EMS at all so it's good Rakuten also allows SAL (as long as you request it). I'm just wondering how would you find the weight of the product? I can read Katakana and Hiragana as well but for the life of me I can't seem to find it. Where should I look? I'd really appreciate you pointing me in the right direction. Thanks for the uber helpful post!

文学少女 (Literature Girl) said...

@Sarah

I've left you an email :) Hope it helps

Lotus D said...

There are some advantages to grocery shopping weekly. When you shop weekly you have a routine of what day you shop and you can make the best use of
any weekly sales that are offered at your store. Also many items like milk and fresh vegetables need to be used within about a week.

grocery convenience

Unknown said...

Hi, sweet. People on the internet are discouraging me about buying from rakuten due to high custom fees. but seeing that you had a good experience from them, I might just order my very first japanese skin care product. Thank you :)

franky hernandez said...

so how much did you pay for the shipping for your facial wash? im planning to buy that too ^_^

文学少女 (Literature Girl) said...

Hi @Franky Hernandez!
My shipping fee was 300 pesos total!