Posts Tagged ‘Kimono Shop’

It’s a story we hear over and over……

Friday, May 14th, 2021
kimono gift

The gift of a kimono.

We received a very nice message the other day from a customer that wanted to thank us for “the beautiful selection of Kimono and Yukata robes “we offer and to share an experience they had with an overseas dealer.  This client purchased a kimono from a “marketplace” in Japan  as a birthday gift for her husband.  Their website claimed they were located in Japan and extensively scoured dozens of cities for the best kimono available.  They claimed they had private connections with shops that produced the finest robes and even alluded that they had some form of a limited government license making them an exclusive provider.

She placed her order online and was looking forward to receiving her robe in 5-7 days as they advertised. She paid $20 for a shipping  upgrade to have the package insured and be trackable.  She became concerned as three weeks passed and no sign of her kimono and no information on the tracking number she received.  She emailed the company several times but didn’t receive a response.  When she checked her card statement online, she was surprised to find that she was charged in Japanese yen instead of dollars.  The amount billed was nearly $20 more than what she thought she was being charged and she was assessed foreign transaction and currency conversion fees by her credit card issuer which added even more to her final purchase price.

Another ten days and completely dismayed at this point, she was surprised when a package arrived.  She eagerly opened it but was upset when she saw the robe, because it was a different pattern than what she ordered.  While it wasn’t the print she ordered, she thought she would keep it because the birthday was getting closer.  When she felt the material, it didn’t feel like cotton, but a bit slippery.  She looked at the tag to see what material it was, but the tag wasn’t printed in English. Unable to decipher the language she was able to identify one word, China. She new she was duped and became even more frustrated.

She emailed the company again asking to return the kimono and relay some of her frustration.  She received a reply 5 days later. In their response, the company claimed the robes were made in China but produced for Japanese export.  This explanation didn’t sit well and she knew she had been taken advantage of.  They said she could return it but the cost was her responsibility, even though they sent the wrong kimono and it wasn’t as advertised.  Begrudgingly, she went to the post office to send it back, but was shocked when the postal clerk told her with shipping, insurance and tracking the cost was over $60.00. Rather than risking this much money and fearing they may not refund her anyway, she decided against it. She didn’t have any trust in this company.

Ironically, a teacher in her child’s school was fluent in Chinese and she asked her to translate the tag. She determined the fabric was viscose, which is a synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp and processed with chemicals.  The tag was completely in Chinese, there was no mention of Japanese exporting and it even included the address of the factory showing it was made in China. The story the dealer provided her was completely false.

She had just about given up the idea of giving her husband a kimono when she performed an online search and found Chopa. After checking our reviews and seeing we were based in the USA, she sent us an email with a few questions about our robes, the shipping times, our return policy and was impressed with our response time of less than 15 minutes. She decided to give us a try and we gained a new customer.

She felt compelled to send us a summary of her experience with the overseas dealer versus her shopping experience with us. In her words, “it was night and day.”  She placed her order, it shipped the same day and arrived two days later. She was even more pleased that it was what she ordered, the size was right, true to our word and it had tags that stated “Made in Japan.”  In essence, we allowed her to regain her trust in online shopping and she couldn’t be happier.  Her husband received his gift in time for his birthday and she says “he wears it everyday and absolutely loves it.”

We are sorry for anyone that goes through an experience like she did, but hope more people realize the benefits of buying local in your own country from a reputable retailer.  Chopa opened its online store in 1994 and we have been serving customers for over 27 years. It is gratifying to hear from clients that appreciate what we do and what we offer.  There is a rule of thumb in business that for every compliment you receive, there are a dozen more just like them, but go untold. We understand people get busy, intend to write, but forget and we are okay with that.  We base our success on the number of customers we have helped, including many repeat customers and the very low number of returns we receive. Of the few returns we do get, most of those are simple exchanges for a different size. We appreciate customer feedback.  If you have a story to share, send us an email, we would love to hear from you.