This post will be reviewing the Japanese Online Mall, Dokodemo.
You know when something feels too good to be true and it actually is? That’s what Dokodemo is. The first time I heard about this online mall was in the Asian Beauty Skincare Addicts Facebook Group. It is touted to be the one-stop-shop for Japanese skincare products at rock bottom prices. Naturally, I was over the moon not just for the prices but because I finally found one website that could provide me with the wide selection of Japanese brands. I have StyleVana, YesStyle and Jolse for Korean Skincare. I needed an equivalent for Japanese skincare too. All of this happened during the first lockdown.
So, I went to check it out. I was so pleased with the website and everything I saw until I checked out the shipping prices. They have about seven different shipping options all according to the weight of your package. Of course, I was quick to check out the cheapest option. As I don’t mind waiting for up to a month or more for my package. This was where my excitement was cut short. While the prices for individual items were mostly dirt cheap, shipping was outrageous. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, they had to stop the cheaper options for shipping.
As at the time I placed my order, they only offered two shipping options to the UK; EMS which is still expensive. The shipping prices really put me off because I could damn well get great deals through independent sellers on eBay. But I had to try Dokodemo even if it was just once to share this review with my fellow Japanese skincare enthusiasts.
First Impressions & Review of Dokodemo Online Mall
When it comes to online shopping, while some people are like me and are quite obsessed. On the other hand, a lot of people still have trust issues which you can’t exactly blame them for. But this is 2020 and if anything with COVID-19, the world is a global village. Shipping and Logistics have advanced so much that you can get anything from any part of the world as long as the borders of your country of residence allow it.
So, here are some of the great things about Dokodemo;
Ridiculously cheap prices
One of my go-to Japanese lotions is the Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion which typically retails from £12 and above depending on where you buy it. But on Dokodemo, it retails for £6. Believe me when I say that I was shocked. so much that I included all the five different types of lotions and all the Japanese products I had in my wishlist. I was so ready to do a massive Japanese haul. Regardless of where you buy your products, Dokodemo remains the cheapest.
Wide range of authentic products
One of the common issues that arise when buying products from abroad is authenticity. Believe it or not, in all my years of buying Asian skincare products online, I’ve never had any issues with counterfeit products. I try to buy from authorized retailers and highly rated sellers on eBay. This way, if I’m being sold a fake product, I can easily request a refund. Dokodemo is quite similar to eBay as well. They have different sellers that are rated accordingly. Chances are, if you are buying popular Japanese products like Hada Labo, you’ll be buying from the top sellers so don’t stress so much about it. Be rest assured that you’re buying the authentic Japanese formulation of a product and not an EU/US version.
Decent Standard Shipping
While my order was slated to be delivered on the 12th of November, 8 days after shipping, it was delivered on the 3rd of December, almost one month later. This was because the UK was on lockdown for the whole of November and it is the currently the holiday season where shipping is bound to be delayed. I wasn’t exactly disappointed because it typically takes around 2- 4 weeks for my packages from Asia to be delivered anyway. When it starts to exceed 6 weeks which is rare, that is when I start to worry.
I like to think that there is no Japanese skincare brand that you are looking for that you won’t find on Dokodemo. From Hada Labo to Curel, DHC, Ceracolla, Kikumasamune and the rest. Personally, I transferred all the products on my wishlists from other sites to my official Dokodemo wishlist. When I was done, there was no single product missing. Even when I look up any product recommendation from Youtubers, I always find them on Dokodemo. This can be quite overwhelming if you ask me but it’s great because you have options to choose from.
While the online mall has its postives, here are some things that I didn’t quite enjoy;
Frankly, the website navigation of Dokodemo is not the best. I feel like it could be better. I feel like the products could be categorized according to the sellers especially since it is cheaper to buy from one seller as opposed to combined shipping. There is so much going on because it is not strictly a skincare mall. They also sell hair care products, makeup, medicines, food, etc. While they have also made an effort to consider their English – speaking customers by using Google Translate for their entire site, it’s still not the best. It’s better than nothing but it could definitely be better. YesStyle and StyleVana are also Asian companies but they have put a lot of effort into their website.
Pricey Shipping by Weight
Possibly my biggest issue shopping with Dokodemo is their shipping options which are calculated by weight. Which is wild to me because Japanese products are known to come in generous quantities. For example, my Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion comes in 500ml bottle. So also my Hada Labo lotions which come 170ml bottles each. When you consider the quantity of your fave Japanese lotions, the shipping cost adds up QUICKLY! Before you know it, you have just three products in your cart and your bill is over £50 because of the weight of the bottles.
My proposed solution to this is to balance your order by choosing lightweight products like refills. That way you can buy a lot and the shipping fee won’t be so outrageous. Always bear in mind that the heavier the product, the more you would pay for shipping. If you want to buy a huge bottle of Naturie Skin Conditioner or Cezanne High Moist Lotion and your total feels too high, you’re better off going on eBay to get a good deal. Trust me, you will find cheaper options with free delivery. Also, StyleVana has a great selection of Japanese products at reasonable prices. Until Dokodemo re-introduces their cheaper shipping options, it’s best to make smart choices and compare with other websites before purchasing.
UK Customs Fee
Another annoying thing was the customs fee which was I was slapped with just before my product was delivered. I was really upset because I was taken by surprise and there was no one to warn me about it. I paid an additional £16 before my order could be delivered to me by the same post office even though I order from Japan all the time and I never had to pay customs fees.
My Dokodemo Haul
To kick off my relationship with the Dokodemo Online Mall, the first batch of products I had ordered was from my fave; Hada Labo. Plus, i had heard on the Facebook group that is cheaper to buy from one seller than to combine shipping with multiple sellers.
Here’s what I got:
I got three Hada Labo lotions which I’m currently obsessed with;
- Hada Labo Shirojyun Premium Medicated Whitening Lotion Moist – This has Tranexamic Acid, Vitamin C/E in conjunction with their signature Hyaluronic Acid. Tranexamic Acid is an amazing ingredient for fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
- Hada Labo Shirojyun Medicated Whitening Lotion Moist – Also in the Shirojyun range, this has Arbutin as an active ingredient which is also amazing for fading dark spots.
- 2020 Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion – Of course, I had to get my hands on the 2020 version of my holy grail premium lotion which was reformulated to now include seven types of Hyaluronic Acid. Hydration Galore!
Even though, I’m obsessed with the Hada Labo lotions, I’ve finally decided to give the other products the brand has to offer a try. So, i decided to get two of their popular cleansers;
- Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil – This is a cleansing oil formulated with Olive Oil and Hyaluronic Acid. I’m excited to see how it works for my skin.
- Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Foam – This is a gentle foaming cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid which I also can’t wait to try as well.
In conclusion, is it worth it?
To be honest, I’m not completely sold until they bring down their shipping prices. Until then, I’ll be buying my samples sizes from YesStyle, full sizes from StyleVana and come back to Dokodemo just for the refills.
Have you shopped at Dokodemo before? What was your experience like?