This post will be sharing a review of the Kokoro Japan Store.
If you are new here, I’ve been buying and using Asian skincare for over two years. I’m so obsessed with Korean and Japanese Skincare because they have literally transformed my dry dehydrated skin. Plus, I also have this skincare blog where I write about product reviews. As such, I spend quite a bit of money on Asian Skincare every month. In fact, it’s so bad right now that I have had to create a budget. This way, I can indulge in my skincare habit without feeling guilty.
As a result of this, I’m always on the lookout for new Asian retailers I can try out and review for my audience. No, I’d rather not buy from UK retailers because more often than not they’re overpriced. Also, with the number of products I buy, I wouldn’t be able to stretch my money as far as I can. So far, I’ve tried all the major retailers that ship to the UK and complied them in one post.
Check out Where To Buy Authentic Japanese Skincare In The UK
So, when I heard about Kokoro Japan Store, I was immediately intrigued. But before taking a plunge, I read about a number of good reviews specifically about their shipping and whatnot from other Europeans. When I was ready, I went ahead to place my order. I mean, what is the worst that could go wrong right? WRONG!
The Good: First Impressions of Kokoro Japan Store
According to their website, they were established in 2019 by ‘a team of passionate Japanese individuals with extensive experiences in the Japanese e-commerce market‘. Just like Dokodemo, they are an e-commerce site that retails Japanese products. These include food and drink, health and wellness and of course, beauty.
So, what are those things that stood out for me about the brand:
Easy Website Navigation
Like I mentioned earlier, the first thing I thought when I visited the website was how incredibly similar it looked like Dokodemo. While I found the UI/UX of the latter cluttered and stressful to navigate, Kokoro Japan Store opted for a more streamlined version. Obviously, you can’t compare a marketplace with a small e-commerce site. But still, I would give them an A for Effort.
Well- Curated Products
Everyone that is familiar with Asian skincare knows how incredibly extensive both industries are. So, it’s really difficult to find great products to try out. But Kokoro Japan Store took the initiative by curating the Top 100 Best Selling Japanese Products. Listen, I was mad impressed especially since I knew that I have tried out about a quarter of that list. It was also great to see some of my favourite products on my wishlist on the list. Seeing all of these immediately made me decide to choose them as my new staple retailer for Japanese Skincare.
In these days of COVID, it’s always appreciated when a package is shipped and delivered very fast. Asides from the six-day processing time which really annoyed me, I got my order in five days. So, it could potentially be shorter if my order was shipped out in about two days. I paid for the Premium Shipping which costs $7 for orders below $80 estimated to be delivered between 6 – 9 days. Above $80, it would have been free but I didn’t trust them enough to make a large order.
I also wasn’t slammed with any import/custom duties like other retailers.
Authentic & Genuine Japanese Products
Even though they didn’t specify, I like to believe that their store is based in Japan and as such, their products are authentic. Also, based on the packaging of the products and my experience with other Japanese products from other retailers, it seemed authentic and genuine enough.
Another thing that really excited me about this store is its prices. At the moment, StyleVana has jacked up their prices so much and Dokodemo still has ridiculous shipping fees + import duties. So, I currently don’t have a staple Japanese retailer. With Kokoro Japan, I thought I have finally found one so I didn’t even hesitate to place my order,
The Maybe: Review of Kokoro Japan Store
As you can tell, I didn’t exactly have the best first experience with this store. I was so disappointed because I had really high hopes for them.
When my order arrived, I discovered that they had sent me the wrong product. Listen, I was LIVID because I was really looking forward to finally trying the product. They sent me the Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion which I currently use instead of the Cezanne High Moist Lotion. In their defense, the names of the product are quite similar. But with that six-day processing time before shipping, they had absolutely no excuse.
Slow Customer Service
Immediately I realized the error in my order, I emailed them copying all the emails I could find on their website. I wasn’t sure which was which and I wasn’t taking any chances. They responded almost immediately but subsequent emails took forever. I start to panic because I thought I was being scammed and won’t be given a full refund just like Olive Young Global did. The entire back and forth between myself and their customer service took about 13 days until it was fully resolved. Listen, I have never had to deal with customer service for this long in my entire life.
In the end, instead of giving me a full refund of the product in question, they gave me 40% refund which was literally peanuts. It wasn’t even enough to cover half price of the Cezanne lotion which I planned to still order. To pacify me, they further gave me 10% off for my next order. I’m not sure it did because I had already made up my mind not to buy from them again.
Limited Selection Of Products
While the curated list of Top 100 Bestselling Japanese products is a brillant idea, it literally ends there. A deeper dive into their product categories don’t really show as many options as I would prefer. In fact, I believe StyleVana has a wider selection of Japanese products than Kokoro Japan Store. Hopefully, they work towards expanding their product selection except their plan is to remain a curated Japanese store.
Lack of Samples
I think I’ve been spoiled a lot by Korean Skincare retailers that I expected the same from Japanese retailers. There were no samples whatsoever. Nothing to encourage me to try out new products. Nothing to encourage me to come back and buy from them. UGH! It was such a bland experience.
Slow Processing/Handling Time
According to them, it takes them four days to process your order. But mine took six days which meant that one of my products was not in stock. I would have preferred if they are more transparent about the products they have in stock like StyleVana and how long it would take to ship out. The whole thing just gave me drop-shipping vibes.
As you can tell, I was not thrilled with my experience with Kokoro Japan Store. Despite their effort to pacify me, the fact that I would have to place another unplanned order with them just to get one product I want makes me really upset.
So, if you decide to go ahead and shop from them, makes sure you have all these points at the back of your mind.
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