Posts Tagged ‘japanese kimono’

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

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

 

Best Selling Kimono and Yukata, October, 2021

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Fall has arrived and soon we will be facing the long, dark nights and in some places the frigid weather of winter.  The holidays are upon us.  Thanksgiving is around the corner and then the official countdown until Christmas begins. People are busy making plans for visiting family and guests, parties, festive gatherings, holiday decorating and shopping. Have you made your gift list yet? If not, at least make some time to think about what you want for each special person in your life.

Since many experts in the retail, wholesale and shipping industries have been predicting possible product and food shortages coming soon, it may be the time to get started on your own shopping list. We recently received our new and largest shipment of kimonos and yukatas of the season. Now is the time to take advantage of full inventories and the best selection of kimono and yukata.

While we may seem partial, we simply love giving a kimono for a gift. For those new to this Japanese phenomenon, kimonos and yukatas are traditional Japanese robes. They were originally worn by the samurai class, but today these garments can be seen at festivals and performances all year long. Our kimono robes are made of 100% cotton which makes them comfortable to wear and easy to care for.

If you need help picking one out, let’s take a look at the five best-selling kimono and yukata for October 2021.

  • Kimono – Embroidered Samurai
  • Yukata – Dragon and Bamboo
  • Yukata – Pink Cherry Blossom
  • Yukata – Dragon and Mt. Fuji
  • Happi Coat – Great Wave

The Embroidered Samurai Kimono is a distinguished robe for men. Made of 100% cotton shantung. Shantung is made from cotton spun fibers which provide a weave design and a ribbed effect on the surface. Slubbed yarns are woven into the material. This produces a durable, nubby fabric which contains an airy feel with a textured and visual attraction.  A finely embroidered samurai calligraphy symbol is embroidered on the back and twin red Sakura symbols on placed on each front panel.

The Dragon and Bamboo Yukata is consistently a top ten selection. In Japan, the dragon and bamboo have been considered symbols of beauty and endurance throughout history. The dragon symbolizes water and bamboo represents endurance. Dragons are a symbol of strength and the bamboo plant brings luck and prosperity.  This robe is produced in Japan of 1005 lighter weight cotton and is machine washable.

The Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata for women is always popular. The lightweight fabric makes it the prefect choice for lounging around the home, enjoying a relaxing breakfast or enjoying your favorite book and a glass of wine. The robe features a beautiful shade of pink and is adorned with delicate pink cherry blossoms. This will surely delight the woman in your life.

The Dragon and Mt. Fuji Yukata, Blue. This yukata is designed with historic Mt Fuji against a dark blue background. The artist accented the palette with dragons and gold calligraphy symbols producing a truly inspiring design. Produced in Japan by artisans in 100% cotton and a matching belt is included with all of our robes. This yukata is also available in black and in short length kimono called Happi Coats.

Speaking of Happi Coats, the fifth best-selling robe in October was the Great Wave Happi Coat. This ever popular deign is also offered in the traditional full-length yukata in black or purple as well.  The Great Wave is one of the most iconic works of art created in Japan in 1830 during the late Ido period. The original design inspired countless renditions throughout the years and is still one of the most recognized works throughout the world.

If you are seeking unique gift ideas for the holidays, look no further than our large selection of beautiful kimono and yukata robes for men and women. We offer quick shipping from the Panhandle of Florida and orders of $75 or more receive Free Shipping anywhere in the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii.

If you have a little samurai or princess in your life, consider shopping our line of kid’s kimono, yukata or jinbei outfits. They are sure to be a hit with your little ones.  From all of us at Chopa, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season.

                    Kid’s Kimono

Is Your Kimono Real or Is It Counterfeit?

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Chopa, your Kimono Source takes pride in offering authentic Japanese Kimono and Yukata.  The beautiful robes we sell are expertly cut and sewn in Japan by experienced, veteran artisans. The relationships with our manufacturers date back several decades because of our mutual trust and understanding of the fine art of the kimono. These beautiful robes have become today’s distinctive loungewear in the West. Whether relaxing at home, the spa or meditating in your sacred space, comfort and style is at your side.

Some might question how a Japanese Kimono can be anything else, but in today’s marketplace, companies often misrepresent what a kimono is and imposters and counterfeits are more abundant than ever. It was about fifteen years ago, when Kim Kardashian gained notoriety by starring in her own pornographic video.  She again made headlines two years ago when she launched a line of undergarments to compete with the renowned brand, Spanx™, and named hers Kimono. Kardashian was harshly criticized in the media about cultural misappropriation and lack of cultural sensitivity. After feeling the heat and even receiving a letter from the Mayor of Kyoto, the name was changed to Kimono Solutionwear™.

If you perform a search on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or any fashion retail sites, chances are pretty good that you can locate what we refer to, as a counterfeit Kimono or at a minimum a misrepresentation. Since sellers can call anything they want a kimono, it isn’t technically a counterfeit, but we we use the word because we feel it is deceptive. This isn’t to say that a Kimono made in another country isn’t a Kimono, but it is not truly a Japanese Kimono. In Japan, the word “Kimono” translates as the “thing to wear”, but it was never intended to mean that anything should be called Kimono. In today’s fashion world, the word Kimono is often used for a simple piece of fabric worn over clothes. Most have no belts or sash and have become synonymous with everyday fashion. Most appear to be open shirts, long or short, no buttons, and worn loose and open. They might pair and be worn over jeans, shorts, dresses and the like. But we feel calling these oversized, open worn shirts a kimono is wrong. We don’t portray ourselves as fashion branding experts in any sense, but even Google is confused when they show these “oversized garments” as kimono.

Consumers must be diligent when looking for authentic products from a specific geographic location. This especially holds true with Japanese Kimono and Yukata. We performed a few searches recently on Amazon and discovered “counterfeit” or misrepresented robes.  Sellers use descriptions of Japanese Kimono, Japanese yukata, Japanese Robe, but careful research further down the description section proved they were not from Japan at all. One way to tell if a seller is using deception is by the price. On Amazon, there are dozens of so-called Japanese Kimono offered below $25. As a dealer in Japanese kimono for nearly 30 years, we can firmly state that we have ever seen a new $25.00 kimono for sale that is made in Japan. More likely they are produced in China.

Another flag of caution is to look at the reviews on Amazon as they often tell a story. For instance, here is one review we found:

“The description and Q&A led me to believe this was made in Japan. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a Made in China tag so I didn’t even try it on. It appears to be folded and packaged beautifully but the floral pattern is not as attractive as it looks in the pictures.”

Another reviewer stated that although she believed it was made in Japan, when she received it, the outer package said made in China, but the tags were in Japanese. When she contacted the vendor, they claimed it was made in China but was produced for Japanese export.

Another review said the following:

“The one I just received has a Made in China tag. Very disappointed.”

Other reviews stated that the kimono they received was polyester and not cotton as advertised on the site. Other responses on Amazon had issues with sizing. One posting that he is a size large in the U.S. The robe he received was believed to be a size medium at best.

One additional post claimed the following:

“Please use American size. This kimono is too small for an extra-large American man. Also, this is NOT a kimono, this is a hospital wrap, NOT a Kimono as requested.”

Granted, not every person is 100% satisfied with their purchase. This is why it is important for your own mental state to deal with a USA based provider of Kimono and Yukata. Returns are much easier and understandable. Chopa has a very limited number of returns and we believe that is due to accurate descriptions and honest verbiage. We know that everybody has a different body style, but we attempt to provide information that helps you find the right size without having to make a return.

Deception goes beyond some Amazon sellers. We surfed Etsy and found similar issues with sellers.

One seller claimed:

Our Japanese inspired kimonos are made from a blend of soft Indonesian silk and viscose from Java Indonesia, making it soft and as appealing as silk or satin, with a more affordable price!”

The key phrase to pick up on is “Japanese Inspired”. Inspiration doesn’t make it Japanese made. They are more upfront than other sellers since they disclosed that they make their robes out of Indonesian silk and viscose.  Viscose is usually cheaper or as they state, affordable, because viscose is a synthetic fabric made from chemicals.

We discovered another seller claiming Japanese Kimono, but in the fine print in the description, we observed “made in the volcanic Island of Bali.”  The last we checked; Bali isn’t Japan. The bottom line for us is that if it is truly Japanese, then clearly state that it is made in Japan.

We don’t portray that a kimono made elsewhere won’t provide you joy and satisfaction wearing it, but we believe in honesty and fair advertising. If you see offers similar to these examples, buyer beware. You might get lucky and find a great deal on a robe, but as we hear from many of our customers, they wished they had bought from us in the first place. Transactions are smooth and returns are simple. Shipping a robe back to Florida is much less expensive than China or Indonesia. Decide what you want and go find it. Don’t let sellers deceive you.

Blog about deceptive kimono sellers

Is your Kimono real?

Image courtesy of Anna Tarazevich

Top Selling Kimono Yukata – August 2021

Saturday, September 11th, 2021

It’s difficult to believe that August has come and gone. Labor Day has passed, schools are back in session, most tourists have gone back home and traffic in Florida is getting back to normal. This is the time of year when locals in the Panhandle of Florida appreciate living here the most. The weather is still warm, beaches are empty and the water is still enjoyable.  This is when you will still find us wearing our short length kimono and yukata at the beach or the pool. For those new to the World of Japanese Kimonos, a Happi Coat is a short length kimono or yukata. They are lightweight, versatile and comfortable to wear. They make great cover ups at the beach or to wear after a day in the yard mowing and trimming shrubs and trees. Getting the work done, hopping into the shower and slipping on a Happi Coat to relax with a cold beverage is so satisfying.

While we move deeper into September we are working diligently preparing for Christmas and the shopping season. As with most retailers, the Holidays bring a lot of traffic to our website and with traffic comes lots of orders. Chopa works hard planning ahead to keep on top of the volume surge including inventory, packaging supplies, work schedules and working with carriers to see that packages are delivered on time.  With the employment shortages hitting UPS, FedEx and USPS, carriers are experiencing delays. With their own increase in package volumes, it is inevitable that delays could become longer especially with winter weather. All three carriers are implementing Holiday Season surcharges beginning in early October and into 2022. With shipping costs increasing around the globe, domestic carrier surcharges and price increases, packaging supply hikes, raw commodity demand and labor wage surges, life is becoming more expensive each day. We are doing our best to maintain and absorb all of these cost increases but understand that raising some prices will be necessary soon.

While no business operates without profit, Chopa has always been fair with our pricing. We like to think it is the tortoise and hare race. We operate under the slow and steady method. Offer quality kimono and yukata robes at fair pricing and provide great service with fast and low cost shipping. Orders of $75 or more receive Free Shipping anywhere in the USA, while smaller orders pay a simple $6.95 shipping fee in the USA. This system has worked well for us for nearly 30 years and we plan on doing the same moving forward.

We suggest customers shop early for Holiday gifts. Nobody knows for sure what will transpire this year, but we continue to hear warnings about merchandise shortages and lengthy shipping delays being possible. On our end, we have been planning ahead and will continue to do so directly into the Holiday season. Customer satisfaction is so important to us. We want you to receive your packages and gifts on time and with time to spare. Let us know what we can do for you.

With that said, let’s go to the most popular kimono and yukata in August.

Top Selling robes were:

  1. Tree of Life Yukata
  2. Great Wave Yukata
  3. Blue Koi Yukata
  4. Kagome Kimono
  5. Shokaku Yukata

We thank all of our customers for their support during the year. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. We are grateful for the business and hope to be of service to you soon. Now Get Your Kimono On!!!

Blue Koi Yukata for Men and Women.

What is a Kimono and Yukata?

Sunday, August 8th, 2021

A short history about the Kimono and Yukata robe.

The Japanese Kimono is widely recognized throughout the world. The history, symbolism and true beauty of these fine robe’s dates back centuries. The word Kimono translates as the “thing to wear” or “thing that is worn.” Today the Kimono is considered the national dress or national costume in Japan and is still a major part of the culture.

Some wear Kimonos daily while others wear them for special occasions, ceremonies, festivals or family gatherings. The sister robe to the Kimono is the Yukata which is typically a lighter weight fabric and worn during warmer summer months.  In the West, the yukata is a favorite loungewear all year long.

One of the features that make this unique clothing so popular is the ease of putting it on as well as the genuine comfort. Spas and resorts are known to offer guests robes to wear and the kimono or yukata fits the same purpose while lounging at home. The kimono is a wraparound garment meaning that it wraps around your body, the left side folds over the right side and is held closed at the waist with a belt, sash or obi.

Kimono are produced in various fabrics with the most common being cotton, silk, rayon and polyester. Cotton is the most popular today, since it is chemically organic and contains no chemical compounds. Cotton is also easy to care for and usually machine washable. Cotton kimonos are normally made with a heavier fabric and yukatas with a lighter weight material.

The colors of kimono and yukata cover the rainbow. From blues, greens, reds, yellows, pinks, purples, oranges, whites and even black, shopping the vast never-ending styles are a feast for your eyes. The patterns range from intricate, ancient, historical, simple and modernistic. The true relevance is in the symbolism.

Symbolism in Japan dates back as far as history allows it. Many of the patterns represent a story, proverb, poetry or event. You will often find flowers, scenery, dragons, trees, waves, koi fish, water and more. Basically, anything found in nature is recreated in a kimono pattern. The natural beauty and meanings are just another example of why so many people love to wear kimono.

Kimono and yukata have evolved over the years. While formal kimono is still worn on special occasions, the traditional kimono is worn anytime. Sleeve lengths are usually a bit shorter and are now offered in many different sizes as the Western demand increases. Since many people in the West are larger than their far East counterparts, the strong demand necessitates a larger array of size offerings.

At Chopa Zen Home, “your Kimono Source”, sizes range from small to 2XL and even 2XL/wide which allows for a wider and roomier fit. Chopa was one of the first to offer large sizing on the web. In addition to plus size kimonos, they also offer short length kimono called Happi Coats. Established in 1994, Chopa continues to be a great source for Japanese kimono and Yukata. Operated and based in the USA, Chopa is a direct importer of quality robes and offers fast shipping in the USA. Orders of $75.00 or more receive free shipping, including Alaska and Hawaii. Orders under $75.00 pay just $6.95.

The benefit of shopping with a US provider, beyond quick shipping is ease of returns, no duties, taxes or import charges and easy access to electronic customer service. In business since 1994, Chopa is a name that can be trusted. This is easy to see as their family of 33,000 happy customers and counting grows each day. Many customers are repeat shoppers and referrals are common. Chopa ships from the Panhandle region of Florida. Most orders ship within one business day with many shipping the same day. They offer a wide selection of over 100 Kimono and Yukata for men, women and kids. Shop online for your next kimono or yukata and see why so many others consider Chopa Zen Home their Kimono Source.

kimono shopping

Photo courtesy of Victoriano Izquierdo.

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

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!

TOP FIVE SELLERS IN FEBRUARY

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Best selling yukata.

The best sellers in February were:

1)  Dragon & Mt. Fuji Yukata – Blue
2)  Navy Kagome Yukata
3)  Wave Yukata
4)  Dragon Yukata
5)  Great Wave – Purple

Thank you to all of our wonderful customers. We hope you enjoy your Japanese Yukata.