Archive for the ‘Plus size kimono robe’ Category

Top Selling Kimono for December 2021

Monday, January 17th, 2022

Looking for the best-selling Kimono for December 2021? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the top kimonos and yukatas based on sales data from our online store. Whether you’re looking for a new kimono to wear to your next party or simply want to add a stylish piece to your wardrobe, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, here are the top five best-selling kimonos and yukatas for December 2021!

  1. Yukata – Dragon & Mt. Fuji, Navy
  2. Kimono – Embroidered Samurai
  3. Yukata – Navy Kagome
  4. Yukata – Dragon and Bamboo
  5. Kimono – Royal Cranes

Our December 2021 best selling Kimono list is a quick snapshot of what was popular among men and women. Whether buying a Japanese robe for yourself or as a gift, many customer do both. Of course purchases during December are not just for Christmas. We saw a lot of birthday messages as well as anniversary notes and simple acts of love. Our list includes a variety of colors and styles, so there is sure to be something for everyone!

December was our busiest month of the year and we are happy to say a very satisfying and productive month.  The wonderful staff at Chopa spent many hours, days and weeks planning for the holiday period to assure we had plenty of choices, styles and sizes available on our Kimono menu. Realize that Chopa – Your Kimono Source offers over 100 different prints, styles and designs, so it isn’t an easy task putting it all together.

The secret to our success is that we began this adventure back in 1994 and as we enter our 28th year in business, we have learned more than a thing or two. We put it all together and continue to perform like a well oiled machine. AS our motto states, We take the guesswork out of online Kimono Shopping.

2021 ended with a bang and some rest for our staff. Now what? Well, 2022 looks to be just as bright. Our buyers have been working hard behind the scenes putting together some new patterns and colors. Some exclusive and some will be for a limited time only. Business is continuing to be challenging in many areas including shipping, costs and our network across Japan. The Covid pandemic continues to play havoc in other countries like it has here.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of several designers in Japan that were behind some of the most outstanding patterns we have sold in years. These fine artists fell victims to Covid and some of their work will now be retired forever. Our hearts and prayers go out to those lost and their families and friends that grieve. We grieve with you and for all who have lost loved ones to Covid.

As we sail into the new year, many people are getting past the Holidays, time off, parties and year end celebrations. Many also are starting to think about their future holiday shopping needs. Valentines Day is less than a month away. Easter arrives April 22nd. Nothing says Spring like a fresh yukata or kimono robes in pretty pastels of yellow or light greens and blues. Birthdays happen throughout the year as do anniversaries.

Early Summer holds many graduations as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Before you know it, the beach season will be here and that means Happi Coats are popular and in high demand. Many customers wear these as coverups at the beach and pool. We li ke them to wear around the house while lounging or hanging out on the patio with a good book, cup of our favorite beverage and maybe some tunes in the air.

If you’re looking for a unique gift that is sure to please, a kimono may be just what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or modern, there’s sure to be a kimono that fits your needs.  We hope you find this information helpful and informative. Thank you for reading! Now go Get Your Kimono On!! See our entire line at www.chopa.com.

                             Popular Kimonos

The Joy of the Kimono and Yukata

Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Have you ever worn a kimono or yukata? If not, then you are missing out on one of life’s special experiences. Wearing these traditional Japanese garments is an enjoyable and unique experience that everyone should have the chance to enjoy. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a kimono or yukata against your skin, and wearing one will make you feel like a Japanese Princess or Samurai Warrior!

The best part is that you don’t have to go to Japan to live this dream. In fact, you don’t even have to find a store in Japan to buy one. In 1994, Chopa – Your Kimono Source became one of the web’s first online stores to make these beautiful robes available to everyone and easy to obtain.  Chopa saw the need for a one stop shopping experience and took the guesswork out of buying a kimono online.

Our online kimono shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Browse our large selection of authentic Japanese kimono, Yukata and short length kimono called the Happi Coat. Whether you are seeking a robe for men, women or kids, we have many styles and sizes to choose from. You can find yukatas and kimonos in a variety of colors and patterns. Chopa is based in the USA and ships from the Panhandle of Florida. Orders are processed quickly and most orders ship within one business day with many shipping the same day.

Yukata and kimono can be worn as loungewear, coverups at the beach, pool or spa and for parties and special ceremonies.  The yukata is often worn to outdoor festivals, especially in the summer. They’re comfortable and stylish, making them perfect for many occasions. Yukata and kimonos are perfect for lazy days around the house or while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee on the patio.

While Kimono are normally produced with a heavier fabric, a yukata is made of lighter weight cotton to keep you cool and comfortable. We offer kimono and yukata in both 100% cotton and a few styles in silk. Both are perfect to wear year-round for style and comfort.  Cotton robes are easy to care for and soft on the skin. Most styles we offer are machine-washable and tumble dried on low. For best results, we advise using cold water wash cycles and a short dry cycle or drip dry. This extends the lifespan of your robe.

With the ease of shopping online from Chopa, you don’t have to wait many weeks or months for a delivery from the far east. You won’t be surprised by a customs and duties bill and returns are simple. As mentioned before, we take the guesswork out of buying a kimono or yukata.

As a large buyer of Japanese kimono and yukata, Chopa is able to secure very favorable pricing which allows them to sell these fine robes at competitive and economical prices. Chopa also uses financial arbitrage and market strategies to hedge against rising or falling values of the Japanese Yen. This helps to assure reasonable pricing no matter what is taking place in the volatile currency markets. Our kimono is often less than half of what trendy retail stores offer them for. Since they are reasonably priced, many customers opt to purchase several to match their different moods and outfits.

Kimonos and yukatas make great gifts for friends and family members. We have many corporate customers who purchase dozens as corporate gifts and rewards for employees or to thank a customer when presented as a gift.  These robes make wonderful gift ideas throughout the year. Whether Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Graduation, birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, Kimono and Yukata make gifts that people will enjoy and appreciate. Shop online now at www.chopa.com.

kimono-robes

                            Japanese Kimono

May the Joy of the Season Fill Your Home!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Season’s Greetings to All! May this Christmas bring you Joy,

Happiness and Peace. Gratitude.

Christmas greetings

Merry Christmas!

Best Place To Buy A Kimono

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Chopa receives letters, emails and texts daily covering a wide range of topics.  It might be a question on sizing or sometimes a customer asks about shipping times. The next correspondence might be a request to exchange a kimono or return a yukata. Our favorite messages are compliments for obvious reasons, but we also receive a complaint every once in a while.  Usually, it is related to a carrier delay or worse yet, we shipped the wrong item.  Yes, folks, we are human and no matter how hard we try, once in a while and we mean long while, we ship the wrong kimono or wrong size to someone. When we do, we remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

The fact is, good, reputable companies make good on their promises. They fix mistakes. They advertise honestly and treat customers the way we want to be treated. Those businesses thrive. They stay in business and grow within their community and customer base. They don’t take short cuts and strive to make all customers happy.

Unfortunately, there are companies that only carry about the bottom line. It is sad but true. One of things that sets Chopa apart is that we are employee-owned and operated. Every staff member you have interaction with owns a stake in the company. This is true whether in customer service, warehouse, marketing, administration or management. Employee-owned businesses statistically take better care of customers. Rather than take customers for granted, we value your business and think of you as family. We know without our customers, there wouldn’t be a business and without a business, we wouldn’t exist, live life, help provide for our families or help our communities.

We reflect on this because of yet, another email we received from a potential customer. This person questioned where we were located and if the kimono didn’t work out as expected, where would it need to be returned.  A fair question all the way around. But it was when the reasons for asking, were explained, we realized another corrupt business in China was praying on customers in the USA.

The customer wrote the following: “I was burned by a retailer who shipped from a USA address, but required items to be returned to China at more than the cost of the item itself.”

It’s true. Many low-cost kimono dealers are actually based in China and other regional clothing producing nations. They produce low-cost robes because they offer subpar and substandard working conditions, unlivable wages and worse yet, some use forced slavery. Sometimes these companies ship from fulfillment centers in the USA, but if you need to return something, it must be shipped to their homeland.

International shipping is not cheap. These unscrupulous dealers know this and realize most people change their minds. Customers keep the robe because in essence, they are throwing good money after bad. We also hear stories from customers who did ship the item back, but never received a refund. Instead, they are given random reasons why no refund was provided. Reasons like “it arrived past the deadline”, “too small is not a valid reason for returns”, “no authorization was provided”, “robe was worn” even though it wasn’t, “shipment was opened”, etc.  It is pretty difficult to try on a robe to see if it fits without opening the package.

There is an old adage that says, “You get what you pay for.” Is taking a gamble on receiving inferior products worth the entire loss of your purchase and then some? We know our customers prefer reasonable pricing on quality kimono and yukata with easy returns to a reputable dealer in the USA. We are proud to be one of the internets’ leading providers of Japanese Kimono and yukata for 27 years and counting. Our word is good and our service stands alone. Please think twice when shopping for a kimono. A dealer like us takes the guesswork out of online kimono shopping. This was one of our goals when the business developed.

Ordering a kimono from Chopa means you will receive quick processing of your order. Fast shipping. most orders ship within one business day and many ship the same day. We ship from the Panhandle of Florida so orders arrive in several business days. You have 10 days from the date of receiving your order to request a return authorization. We process refunds and exchanges within one day of receiving your package. Chopa offers a wide range of styles and sizes and you won’t receive a bill from US Customs or the carrier when your package is delivered. We have taken care of everything. The price you see online is the price you get.

Try ordering a robe from China or Japan and you might be surprised at the end result.  When they say 7 days delivery it often means 21 or more. You may also be billed service charges for currency exchanges by your card issuer or bank. Customs, duties and customs brokerage charges may apply and you will need to pay those or customs can confiscate the package and liquidate it for damages. Need to return it?  We have already explained just a few of the downfalls by ordering internationally. The bottom-line is don’t become a victim. There is a reason so many call Chopa, Your Kimono Source since 1994. Shop with confidence and no surprises. Now Get Your Kimono On!!

USA Based Kimono Retailer

Why Are Kimono So Popular?

Sunday, November 28th, 2021

The Japanese culture has a long history of wearing kimono. The word “kimono” is actually a translation for “thing to wear”.  Kimono are beautiful pieces of clothing originally worn by men in Japan. Following World War II they became more popular among women. Kimono  originated as a form of armor to protect warriors from arrows, but are now seen as ceremonial garments for special occasions. There are many different styles of kimono characterized by their sleeve length, colors or other details such as hemlines. The most recognizable feature of the kimono is its wide sleeves. Kimono are typically made of cotton or silk with intricate patterns and distinctive colors.

Kimonos and Work Clothes

The kimono is sometimes referred to as the oldest work clothes. The kimono has been used as a work garment for centuries in countries around Asia. They allow workers to stay clean without getting dirty. It protects against dirt and sweat by keeping them on its surface, which can be easily shaken off or washed at the end of the day.  What’s more, since kimonos were typically worn with pants underneath, they provide an extra layer of warmth during cooler seasons.

The Most Well-Known Kimono

The most well-known type of kimono is called the “Yukata”. Yukatas are casual versions which were traditionally used after bathing and before dressing in more formal clothes for celebrations at night. They provide a cover-up during the day while still being light enough to be worn indoors or outside when it’s cool.  Today there is still great interest in this garment both within Japan and abroad.

Kimonos are popular because they look great and can be worn in a variety of settings. They are known for their elegance, traditional design, comfort, versatility and easiness to slip on. Wearers can put on a kimono without any help from another person. This is very convenient for the wearer. If you want to dress like a samurai or geisha without having to pay the expensive price tag of designer brands, then kimonos are perfect for you.

These Japanese robes are available in different colors and styles, so they can match any occasion. Some people wear them as an accessory to their outfit. Others wear them for more formal occasions like weddings, tea ceremonies, parties and festivals. They go easily with other items in your wardrobe. There are many different styles to choose from, each with their own meaning. A colorful kimono is often for celebrations or ceremonial purposes. More muted colors are typically worn during the day by women who work outside the home.  A popular color found on kimonos is red which signifies happiness and good luck. The way one dresses themselves reflects their personality so it is important for people to know how they are seen by others.

Choosing a Kimono

When selecting a kimono, the first step is to consider the fabric you want your kimono made out of. Make this decision before you pick a color or pattern. Then, choose whether you’d prefer a short kimono or one that goes down past your knees for a more formal look. You’ll also need to decide if you want long or short sleeves. A kimono is traditionally worn closed with a sash, obi or belt. But did you know that they can be worn in a variety of ways? Contemporary fashion has created the style of wearing kimono or yukata open and loose or flowing. This  makes them perfect for hot summer days when you want something light and cool to wear.

Kimonos can actually be worn as tops with pants or shorts. Another popular trend is to wear it over short shorts or leggings. They can also be used in place of a blouse layered under sweaters and jackets for Fall and Winter. It’s easy to dress up kimono tops with accessories like necklaces, statement earrings, scarves, belts and hats. Many retailers call their oversized sweaters or sheer gowns, kimonos. Those in the “know” realize it is simply marketing. Nothing makes a kimono statement better than an authentic Japanese Kimono.

The kimono has been around for centuries and is still a staple in Japan. They can be seen on the streets or worn as formal attire. The kimono is a garment that can be worn in many different ways. It’s no surprise that the history of this versatile piece of clothing is varied. Chopa – Your Kimono Source, offers many styles of kimonos to fit all occasions and budgets. We’re sure we’ll have something great for your needs. Browse our large selection today at www.chopa.com.

Kimono fashion combines a kimono as an outer item over pants.

Kimono Fashion

 

Top Selling Kimono and Yukata – September 2021

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that has been worn for centuries. Kimonos have been around since 1868 BC. Japan’s Emperor Tenmu decreed that nobles should wear them over their Chinese-style robes during certain ceremonial activities in order to distinguish themselves from commoners who were not allowed to wear silk.

Kimonos are made of a flowing fabric that can be worn as an outer or under garment. In Japan and Korea, they are considered formal wear.  The culture of wearing kimonos is not limited to Asia; they’re also popular in Europe where they’re often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.  Modern Westerners might think the kimono is outdated but many cultures still find it to be a desirable piece of clothing that showcases their individuality and creativity. We have seen a steady surge of sales for years as the kimono and yukata have been gaining popularity around the world. Kimono translates from Japanese as “the thing to wear”.

Some people have fears about how to wear them, but they are simple to slip on and very similar to a bathrobe. Always wear the kimono wrapped around you with the left folded over the right.  Wearing the right over the left is usually reserved for the deceased and funerals. Once you feel comfortable wearing one, you can step out with style or feel like a true samurai warrior. The fascinating styles of patterns and designs will allow you to look your best at any event. The reasons why kimono are so popular among men and women alike range from their rich history to how they can be worn by anyone who wants to look good and feel great.

The Japanese wear kimonos for a variety of occasions. They are often worn at formal events, such as weddings, tea ceremonies, graduations  and religious festivals. The kimono is also traditionally worn by women when they give birth. Kimonos are both feminine and masculine garments with flowing sleeves that cover the hips and long length robes help you keep warm in cold weather. A wide variety of designs can be found on these traditional clothing pieces, from modern prints to classic patterns and some with embroidery. The sister robe to the kimono is the yukata which is lighter weight fabric and often worn at festivals and summertime outings. While yukata are made of cotton, kimono can be made from silk and cotton fabrics with some types of kimonos costing up to $10,000.

Each month we like to publish our list of the Five Top Selling or Most Popular Kimono and Yukata in our store. Our customers make the decision and we share their interests.  So here we go….

The Top Five Selling Kimono Yukata for September 2021

  1. Yukata – Great Wave
  2. Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata
  3. Black Zen and Martial Arts Yukata
  4. Eternal Chain Yukata
  5. Dragon and Bamboo Yukata

The lighter weight yukata is always a popular choice during the Summer and Fall seasons especially in men’s robes and loungewear.

Check out our website at www.chopa.com to see the wide variety of styles, patterns, colors and sizes we offer. As a leading online provider of kimono and yukata since 1994, it’s easy to see why we are your Kimono Source. Great service, fast shipping and free shipping on orders of $75 or more anywhere in the USA.

Beautiful kimonos and yukata are a must have for the fall season. Check back next month to find out what top selling kimono is dominating the market in October! Thank you for reading and now go Get Your Kimono On!!

                      Cherry Blossom Yukata

What do Kimonos Cost?

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

We received a question from a customer asking why kimono and yukata are offered at different prices.  There are many reasons why a Japanese robe is priced the way it is. The most basic reason is that a retailer can pick and choose whatever price they want. As an example, let’s look at two stores. The ABC store sells a widget for $10.00 while the XYZ store offers the same product for $15.00.  It’s a choice each store owner makes and there are a variety of reasons for this.

The ABC Store may buy larger quantities from the manufacturer and receive a lower cost or discount for the volume purchase. They may have lower shipping costs and maybe lower overhead. It could simply be that the ABC store feels they are making a reasonable profit at $10.00. Every retailer has their own reasons why they charge what they do. The XYZ store may pay more for rent and pay more for labor and sales staff.

Chopa Zen Home has been a leading online retailer of Kimono and Yukata robes since 1994. Our number one goal when we started was and still is to offer quality robes at reasonable prices. We don’t attempt to be the low-price leader, nor do we want to be the most expensive. Being the most expensive retailer doesn’t necessarily mean you have the highest quality and best product. Being in business since 1994 has provided us with a deep level of understanding, experience and knowledge about the kimono market in the USA.

We purchase our kimono clothing from experienced, reputable, high-quality providers. We have longstanding agreements and constantly strive to accommodate each other, maintain a successful partnership and a great working relationship. This philosophy has long endured and is a reason why we are still a successful provider of beautiful kimono robes today. We have seen many firms come and go over the last three decades, but we stick with and maintain the principals we started with. One question we ask ourselves regularly is, would we purchase a specific kimono at the price we offer it?  The answer is yes, or we decide on a lower price or discontinue the item. There needs to be a reasonable profit or no retailer stays in business. Businesses have overhead including the cost of goods, advertising, utilities, rent, labor, taxes, insurance, duties, shipping and an array of other costs.

Pricing has a lot to do with the fabric. Obviously a nicer, richer and heavier fabric costs more to produce a robe than a lesser quality material. This is how our producers determine their costs, profit and asking prices. A retailer does the same. Sometimes we have two yukata that appear similar and are made with the same fabric but one costs $10.00 more than the other. The reason for this is usually tied to the cost of the fabric and mainly the printing and dyeing of the material. Solid colors are made by dying fabrics. Designs are made by printing on a dyed fabric. The more detailed the print, the costlier the end product is because there are more steps in printing, more time involved, more labor more dye or inks and this longer process adds up. A robe with one or two colors, not withstanding the underlying fabric will cost less to produce than one with 9 or 10 colors.

Sizing also plays a vital factor in determination of price.  A size small uses one amount of fabric while an large uses more. Manufacturers will usually blend the cost between the first few sizes because a larger size may leave less cutting or material waste while the smaller may have more.  Patterns can have an effect on the cost based on the cutting patterns. Some patterns must be cut a specific way for sewing, so the pattern isn’t lost or out of place. Wider sizes obviously cost more because more fabric is needed. Special collars, sleeves and other variables all play a part in pricing.

We recently shopped around to comparison shop and were surprised to see major price differences.  A specific kimono was available at one online store for $69.00 while the same robe was offered at another for $129.00.  Others listed the same robe at $89.00 and $99.00.  This proves there are anomalies in the market place but seeing this wide of a variance proves that some retailers are simply overpricing. No matter what the shipping costs, labor and overhead, if one retailer can justify selling the robe for $69.00 and making a fair profit to stay in business, how can the one asking $129.00 justify that price?

Chopa stands behind its history, longevity, customer service and fair pricing. We have many repeat customers and receive many compliments and thank you letters  throughout the year.  This is not only gratifying to us, but it proves to us that we are Your Kimono Source for styles, variety, sizing and price.  We offer easy returns if you are not satisfied with your purchase and are based and operated in the USA. We have made kimono shopping easy by taking the guesswork out of online shopping. When looking for a kimono, yukata or short length kimono or Happi Coat, Shop with Confidence, shop with Chopa Zen Home.

kimono fabrics

Photo courtesy of Beth MacDonald

Kimonos and Covid – The Challenges

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

We received a steady stream of questions during the peak and early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak beginning in March, 2020.  Customers  asked if our kimonos were safe? Was there risk of obtaining the virus from our kimono and yukata? What precautions were we taking? Were we open? Since we import from Japan, how safe were our robes? The answer to these questions, was that yes, our kimono were and are safe. Yes, we took and take a lot of precautions. Yes, we were and are open.

Chopa Zen Home stocks a rather large inventory of kimono and yukata robes throughout the year. Even with the outbreak, we had plenty of kimono in stock that we received months before any outbreak of the virus was known.  Our inventory levels constantly turn as orders ship out and new deliveries arrive. Some styles sell quicker than others, while some have unusual patterns similar to many retail products in your local store. Style XYZ may sell just a few one week, then the next week rolls around and sales of that style explode.  We don’t always know why this happens, but it is part of the business and we try our best to adjust and move with the flow. Tracking previous sales patterns establishes a baseline for future sales, but there are always outliers that can take place and that is when things become unpredictable. A story may be shown on TV about kimonos, a movie may run several times over a weekend that showed the Japanese lifestyle and actors wearing yukata. A well known celebrity may appear wearing a kimono and we see a spike in sales, especially in that particular style.

Our producers in Japan were very cautious throughout the pandemic and remain so.  Masks are worn, hands are sanitized, gloves are used and many staff members work remotely or in well ventilated rooms with partitions set up between each work station. Orders are packed with care, boxed, sealed and shipped air freight which lessens the time in transit.  Once they arrive, our staff uses the same practices to assure their safety as well as our customers. Masks, gloves, partitions, some remote work and constant sanitizing are and were the norm for many months. With so many people in the USA staying home through furloughs, work-at-home assignments and business closures, we saw a large increase in business like many other online retailers did. People were afraid to go to stores to shop, discovered the many benefits of online shopping and wanted casual things to wear while at home. Since Kimono and Yukata robes are so popular as loungewear, shopping for kimonos was an easy choice, especially with our large selection of prints, colors and sizes. We are proud to say we introduced many new customers to the fine luxury of wearing a yukata while lounging, working at home or taking care of kids and the Homefront. Welcome to all of our new customers and thank you for all of your kind words you sent our way. It is always a joy to read how much customers love their robes. It is also gratifying to see how many repeat purchases are made as people realize they want a second or third kimono to expand their new style at home.

Chopa is happy to report that we had zero infections among staff and families throughout the pandemic. The precautions we took benefitted everyone involved and our staff meetings were open for everyone to share experiences outside of the office, to relay what precautions they took when venturing out for groceries, gasoline, errands and the like.  Sharing our stories went a long way in educating ourselves on what or what not to do to stay safe.

With shutdowns and ongoing government restrictions in Japan we came across and still face challenges to keep our selection as full as possible. Sometimes we have to scale back orders or adjust timeframes in production. Other times we make adjustments solely to help our partners and producers. It was often more difficult on them, since many of their customers shut down and business slowed. There were restrictions on workdays, openings, number of people allowed in one workspace location and more. Obtaining fabrics was and still is an  obstacle. Businesses that dye fabrics face mandated closures or went out of business. Some cotton fabrics are still scarce or unavailable. Silk robes have been the most difficult to obtain. We have been unable to offer new silk stock for nearly a year. This sources back to the silk mills where the fabric is made right through to the dyeing and printing of the material.  Chopa anticipates this will change in the coming months and we will be offering beautiful silk kimonos again by the Christmas season. Silk Happi Coats are always popular as gifts. Soft, silky, smooth to the touch, short and sexy, they make magical gifts for men and women.

If you shop our online store and see some empty slots of a particular size or pattern, don’t hesitate to send us a text or email and ask.  We are working hard each day doing what we can to keep adequate supplies for large and full selections of kimono robes, but sometimes things happen beyond our control. We can always provide you with an update and we maintain a courtesy email notification service. When a style or size you seek is out of stock, ask us to put you on this alert system. When that yukata or kimono arrives, we will notify you by email. There is no obligation to complete a purchase, we only email you once and your email will not be used for marketing. It is deleted once we send out the notice.  Once again, we thank all of our customers for your support. As always, let us know what you think.

photo by cottonbro

Photo courtesy of cottonbro.

Do you leave reviews about a business?

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

customer service

 

We receive a steady flow of positive reviews, compliments and thank you notes from customers and work hard to provide all customers with a great shopping experience. Once in a while, we receive a complaint, which can be expected since people have different assumptions about what their experience will be. Thankfully, the complaints are far and few between, which lets us believe we are doing the right thing, communicating well, offering great products, fair pricing and excellent service. In business, a customer that has a negative experience is likely to leave a bad review. This is especially true today with social media and online reviews making it so easy to post. On the flip side, a customer that has a great experience is less likely to leave a positive review. In general, only one in ten happy customers will leave positive feedback.

Since we receive so many positive comments and reviews, it surprised us recently when a customer left us a negative review on a rating site. It was the customer’s first experience shopping with us and we are certain their last. The puzzling piece about this feedback was that the customer never contacted us to discuss the matter or give us a chance to rectify their complaint. Instead, they chose to post and broadcast to the world how bad we are as a company in general.  Because of one issue, this customer labeled all of our products as inferior and not worth the money.  The comment was difficult to swallow considering we have over 100 products and have served over 32,000 happy customers.  If we offer such poor quality products as was claimed, how would we last over 25 years in this business? It simply made no sense to us.

As we read and discussed the review in a staff meeting, it became more obvious to us that this person damaged the robe through their own negligence.  At first, they implied that the kimono arrived with tears in it and claimed that because our return policy was too difficult, they were now stuck with this robe. They also elaborated on being a near-expert on Japanese kimonos because of some life experience. Granted, we are ad-libbing a bit here and everyone, especially customers are entitled to their opinions, but as a reputable kimono dealer for nearly three decades, it became evident after their story changed a few times that this person simply wanted to blame someone else rather than accept their own responsibility for their situation.

We are confident that the kimono arrived in perfect condition, it was worn a few times, they tore it and wanted to pass blame on us. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you have reached out to us to ask for a replacement?  If we ever make a mistake by sending out the wrong color, size, or the robe actually had a flaw, we stand by our reputation and would have corrected the issue at our expense. Our manufacturers have stringent quality assurance plans in place. We receive very few returns and of those we receive, most are simple exchanges. Everyone is human and if we make a mistake, we fix it. Unfortunately today, there are people that just don’t want to accept responsibility for their own actions and instead choose to blame others. We believe this customer purchased a size that was too small and that is how it tore. This would happen with nearly all fabrics. If stretched and pulled with too much force, cotton will tear.

This reminded us of how fragile business review systems are today. With the internet, information is passed at lightning speed and with little recourse. The right thing to do when you are unhappy with a situation is to contact the business and discuss it with them. Don’t become frustrated and paint an unrealistic and untrue picture of someone. We look at all reviews and comments with the utmost attention and seriousness. Negative reviews are harmful to a reputation and can be difficult to overcome. We have made exceptions to our policies and have gone out of our way to make a customer happy. No business wants an unhappy customer. If this person would have reached out to us, we might have been able to do something, but we were never given a chance. In the end we both lost.

Be aware of the importance of good communication and feedback.  If you have a problem with something you buy or a service you hire, give the business a chance to help and fix an issue. You could save yourself money, save your sanity and above all, focus on believing in people and businesses rather than being angry and aggressive. It isn’t good for your soul and certainly isn’t good for anyone around you.  It is a good lesson and one we will remember.  Life is too short, be happy!

And the WINNERS are…..Top Five Sellers for April, 2021

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Top selling kimono

Each month we like to celebrate and wrap up the month with our Best Selling Kimono and Yukata list. This idea came as a result of our customers who write us and asked for ideas about which Kimono or Yukata would be the right one for a gift, a spouse, a kid, significant other or even themselves. While we always point out that selecting a kimono is simply a personal choice, we are happy to provide feedback if they have certain questions or need comparison information. We have been selling kimono and yukata for over 27 years and have learned at least a thing or two.

This has become a fun and enjoyable task each month and also helps us with inventory, ordering needs and knowing what’s the most popular choice during the past 30 days. Check back each month if you have an interest in what the current trend is for the most popular Japanese robes. We received an email  from a repeat customer the other day, who had been sitting on the fence deciding on a choice for his next yukata.  He has purchased several from us over the past year and wanted to add to his collection.  He mentioned that he sometimes has a hard time deciding because of the many styles we offer, but began to look at this list we publish monthly and said it really helped him. His newest yukata was shipped last month and he wrote us to say he couldn’t be more happy with his choice.  He wanted us to give a shout out to our customers for helping him decide. This customer thinks he is getting older and has a harder time making decisions to which we say, you are not getting older, just becoming more “retro”. Last month was his birthday and we included a nice little gift with his purchase. It’s the little things like this that make us love what we do.  We love hearing from customers, so if you have thoughts, questions, comments or concerns, please let us know.  You can use the email address listed on our order confirmation or our Contact Us form located on the web.

So, without further delay, here are the TOP FIVE SELLERS in April:

  1. Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  2. Happi Coat – Blue Koi
  3. Yukata – Great Wave – Purple
  4. Yukata – Dragon & Mt. Fuji – Black
  5. Yukata – Dragon and Hawk

We have been very busy shipping Mother’s Day gifts over the past few weeks, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the Pink Cherry Blossom yukata hit the number one spot.  The balance of the list were men’s robes, so it would appear that customers are shopping early for Father’s Day, June 20th, and perhaps picking up yukatas for the warmer summer months. Of course we usually see a brisk shift in business for graduations and weddings from now through the end of July.

Whatever the event you have throughout the year, if you need a unique gift, visit us online at www.chopa.com. We offer a large selection of Japanese robes for men, women and kid’s. We receive dozens and dozens of notes each season telling us what a great idea these were for gifting. Of course, don’t forget Christmas which is our biggest selling season of all. It’s never to early to start a gift list and we offer an extended return window for Christmas purchases which is announced later in the year. For now, let’s just enjoy the warmer weather rolling in and the bright sunny days ahead.  Here in Florida it has already warmed up and the roads and beaches are becoming more crowded each week. Our short length Happi Coats are popular and very stylish as cover ups at the beach or pool. Lounging on the patio with a cool cocktail isn’t a bad idea either.