Friday, November 14, 2014

[How to] Purchasing Liz Lisa from Tokyo Kawaii Life

Hi! Hi!

Disclaimer; All thoughts and opinions are completely 100% my own and obtained through my own personal shopping experiences and observations. If you've had a different experience than that's your own opinion and that's okay.  
 Also, this post is super text heavy.



When I wrote my [How to] A Basic Guide to Selling Online (Here) post I got a request to do a guide to buying Liz Lisa. After some thought, I decided to go through with the blog post because it seems like an interesting and unique post. 

I just want to say, firstly, I strongly recommend purchasing authentic Liz Lisa from any authentic source as buying fakes or purchasing from an alternative source does nothing to support the actual designers, shop staff and other buyers of Liz Lisa. You might be saving a few dollars but you're literally stealing hundreds and thousands from hard working designers. If everyone purchased fakes instead of authentic, Liz Lisa would cease to exist anymore and no one wants that. If you can, please always purchase authentic. 
There's numerous ways you can obtain authentic Liz Lisa so please support authentic Liz Lisa. 

I also want to say;
I truly believe shopping on the Liz Lisa webstore is like an other shop. Yes, it's a web shop based in Japan and while the stock is different the way the shop operates is really nothing new or 'special' from 'Western' Shops. Both clear out of season stock around the same time and even the discounts are similar. So don't feel that anything I'm saying here can't be applied to other stores or you can't look at stores where you live and see the similarities. 




Firstly, there's only a few places where you can buy authentic Liz Lisa and I'll list it here.

To buy brand new, current collection Liz Lisa you either need to buy it from any of these listed here. 

- Tokyo Kawaii Life - Link -  This is the official web shop of Liz Lisa and the only 100% authentic place you can buy Liz Lisa online. 

- Shopping Service - you can hire people whom are able to purchase items from Liz Lisa either online or in store (normally in store) on your behalf and send the items to you. 

- Liz Lisa's Rakuten - Link - Normally they used to promote it in email but lately it hasn't been promoted as much. Regardless, it still seems like a legit place to buy from. 

- Shibuya 109 net store - Link - As far as I'm aware, you can't use a shipping service (ex. tenso,) to forward on packages from this store but you can use a shopping service if you like to buy from here.

Note: Liz Lisa is known to travel to AnimeExpo and Japan Expo in France and create a 'pop' up store and sell Liz Lisa there for a slightly higher cost than online.




Of course, you can purchase Liz Lisa second hand and there's many people that will sell Liz Lisa when they don't want it anymore, doesn't fit, don't want it anymore and it's a great way to get older pieces or items that you may have missed out on in the past. 
But please be weary of authenticity. 
People that generally show themselves buying from Tokyo Kawaii Life or shopping service are more likely to sell authentic. 
Please be weary of any seller claiming to be selling 'excess stock', 'Over stock', or anything else of that nature as I've personally never seen authentic Liz Lisa sold this way. 
 But that's enough of that.


For this post, I'm really going to be covering Tokyo Kawaii Life, simply because, I can't possibly cover all these places you can buy Liz Lisa in one post. It would simply be too long and since I normally purchase from Tokyo Kawaii Life it's the only place I can really promote and say I know anything about it.  



Basically, this is what you'll see when you click onto the TokyoKawaiiLife website, notice all the banners? They're announcements, they either tell you what season they're in, promotions, advertisements etc. Flip through them if you like!

These are the headers, notice it's in both English and Japanese? It's very easy to use! Anyways, it's fairly straight forward and you shouldn't have any difficulties with it. 

All these topics are in no order, I just wrote it as it came to me and I wasn't sure how to order it so hopefully the headings are clear enough for you all. 

New Stock

New stock is released Friday to the web store normally around 6pm Japan time. Sometimes it's a bit later/ earlier. 
But sometimes if there is lots of new stock they'll release it more frequently. (Like on a Monday or a Wednesday).
How much gets released is also really random. Some weeks it's close to 100 new items and others only one or two items are released. 
The best time for new stock is at the beginning of the season. Most of the catalog stock is released first and items that aren't featured in that are released after. 
The 'trendy' or must have items released first and then everything rolls out after that. I would strongly suggest following the Liz Lisa blog for updates on what's coming up soon next so you can prepare and decide if you want to peruse that item.  
If your wondering where you can see what will be released prior to being released online, check out the official Liz Lisa Blog or Liz Lisa tumblr both are good sources for what's going to come out so check it out if you're curious.

Promotions

Sales seems to start Tuesday or Wednesday on the web store (long running promotions) and short promotions (week ends) seems to start Friday and go through to Sunday.
Promotions are either sent to email or advertised on banners on the homepage. 
For the best results you should really sign up for the newsletter as some promotions are sent through to email before the banner goes up. Very occasionally members either access to sales before the banner goes up and sometimes sales are secret! That means only members can purchase the sale price! The only way you'll know of a member sale is by email. 
If your not signed up I recommend it. 
Normally you get emails from Tokyo Kawaii Life once or twice a week so it's not bad at all. 
Promotions will take a few different forms, you can either be sent a link to a sale or you can get a promotion code. Normally, I get sale links and I don't get promotion codes often, personally. 
Sometimes, emails will notify you when a sale is going to start, for example, a sale starting on 24/10 might be mentioned in email on the 20/10. 
Sometimes, it's a surprise there's no way anyone will know this. 
Oh, and make sure to check your spam one time I nearly missed a 50% off secret sale because the email went to spam.  

Different types of promotions; 

Tokyo Kawaii Life and it's brands all have unique sales some are;

--% off (percentage off) - can either be all stock or just selected stock. 
Buy 1 get --% off buy 2 get --% - the more you buy the more you can save. Buying three items also isn't applicable with this. buy 1 type offers you would need to buy 2 more to get the next discount. 
Secret Sale - Normally a high discount, like 40% off or 50% off, or buy two get 50% off etc. etc. Secret sale means it's for members only. 
Buy (item) and (item) for (value) - For example, last year, Liz Lisa had a buy a coat, dress and boots for 22000 YEN and you can choose from the selected items. Tralala does this type of sale often as well. 
Some examples are; 
Dress and shoes. 
Dress and coat. 
Boots and coat. 
Top and bottom. 
Coat, dress and boots. 
Dress, cardigan and shoes.
Dress and dress 
Dress and bag.
Etc. etc. 
I'm sure Tokyo Kawaii life will explore and the combinations as time goes on. The value also can change as well but I generally find this sale to be quite reasonable and decent value as long as you like the items selected to be part of the offer. Generally this sale happens more towards the beginning/middle of the season so there's lots of choice.
Web limited Sale means one of two things; 

Sale is exclusive to online and won't happen in store. 
Sale is exclusive to online stock (eg. outlet goods,). 
Sale is exclusive to items of clothing which are limited to Tokyo Kawaii Life.
Event Sales - Like Golden Week, New Years or Spring time sales. 
Season Clearance - At the end of the season Liz Lisa reduces the prices of all their previous season stock and moves on to the next.

I think that's most of them and there might be a few others that I've forgotten but I think these are the best ones and the ones that reoccur the most often.


Clearance

Again, this is nothing new of different from other stores, it happens at the same time as anywhere else, end of season typically happens about 1 or 2 months before the actual season ends so in December 2 months before the Spring happens, they start clearing clothing. 

Models

Get to know the models on Liz Lisa. They can be a great indication to how the garment will fit.



This model is taller than me (I'm roughly 5"2') and I've noticed everything seems quite short on her but okay (in my opinion) on me personally. I would guess she's maybe 5"4' or 5"5' maybe as a guess. Otherwise, I like buying from this model, I think we must be similar shapes because everything fits her the way I want it to fit me. So take from that what you will.




I haven't bought much from this model but judging from her wearing the clothes, I would say she's very thin (especially in the waist area at the least) if it looks big on her, and you're petite/thin I would be wary. I'm not sure how tall she is as like I said, I haven't bought much from her. (I suspect she might be short because things seem quite long on her compared to other models I've seen wear the same or similar things,) 

This is all I've noticed with the current models on the website. 
If that doesn't help you, look on instagram and tumblr and see if you can find people who already have the items you're interested in or seem to like similar styles. I think this is a really great way to see how things look on different people and how people style things differently and I really wish people would share more their experiences with Liz Lisa clothes for this reason.  
Otherwise, see if you can find it on shop staff and compare it between the models/staff and try and guesstimate from there. 

Sizing 

They do list the sizing on the site, but I've heard it's fairly inaccurate. I think for best results, I would try and find real* girls wearing the pieces you're interested in. If you're still not sure judging on the photos I'm sure you can ask people if they have similar pieces or cuts and if they would provide information. 
If there's nothing to help you, personally, I would just wait for the sales and risk it. If it doesn't work out, I would just sell it online if it didn't work out but that's me personally.
*Not that the models aren't real girls but they do use a lot of photography tricks to make things look different so be aware of that as well.


Colour 
  
I've never had too much of a discrepancy with colour when buying from TLK. Maybe once something arrived more lavender than pink like I anticipated but other than that I've never seen too much discrepancy with colour. If your really concerned see if you can find someone who has the same item and ask them. 

Web Limited

Web-limited items means just that- it's an item that is exclusively sold online on Tokyo Kawaii Life. There's normally quite a good amount of these items as I think the online store is considered it's own store, like Harajuku or shibuya109 and these items are most likely to compete with those stores which also have their own limited items. 
 

Outlet 

The outlet is almost like a smaller store on TokyoKawiiLife, last seasons stock is located there at a discount price. The outlet is lots of fun (in my opinion) because you never know what's going to turn up in the outlet and at what price. If you love bargin hunting or you just want to see if you can find a past item, try the outlet. 
I think (but don't quote me on this) the outlet is an online exclusive and generally this stock can't be bought in store (or first hand anywhere). 
Everything in the clearance is already reduced from the original retail price quite significantly but they often times they'll do further discounts like 50% - 80% off from time to time, so either check the headers on Tokyo Kawaii Life OR sign up for the emails so you know when things are reduced. 
Be aware that they do rotate the stock in the outlet every season. In Autumn/Winter they put the Summer stock in the back of the outlet and bring last years A/W collections to the front of the outlet. I think it's a good idea to get into the habit of checking the outlet every now and again because you never know if you'll find anything nice or something similar to this years items but at a discount.  
I'm not 100% sure when the outlet as they seem to throw in new things really randomly but they do update it when the seasons change and all the new clothes come out. 
Personally, I like to change the settings to 'in stock' only for the online store because sometimes, it takes them a while to remove the stock that is sold out so you end up seeing a lot of things that are actually so. 
Other search you can use is 30% off, 60% off and 90% off and highest to lowest search options. 
Just because the stock might be last season or last year, doesn't mean it's still unsuitable for this season and sometimes there are some really great bargins to be found in there. It's work a look anyways.

Pre- Order

They used to sometimes do this on Vent but I've never seen them do this on Tokyo Kawaii Life. But I have experience with this so I'll share my experience in case they ever do it again. 

If an item is pre orderable, it will generally say, pre order on the listing, and some information on pre ordering will be above the size/ colour variation chart on the right side of the screen. (On vent it was pink so it was noticeable but since TKL has a different colour scheme I'm not sure what it will look like,) 

If I remember correctly, you can pre order more than one pre order item at a time (so say, a dress and some shoes on pre order is okay) but you can't pre order and purchase in stock items at the same time. Otherwise checkout is exactly the same but it will state you can't choose delivery time because the items are pre ordered and they don't know the day it will be posted so you won't be able to choose. Other than that the process is the same.

When you pre order two pre order items (like shorts and top like I did,) the two items ship at different times so that's something to keep in mind. 
 
If they ever do pre order again, be weary, I think they used to do it because they anticipated the item would sell out fast (so pre ordering would help the congestion of that) OR they've advertised the item and it hasn't arrived yet. One or the other.  

I wrote this bit up and I realized that they DO pre-order on Tokyo Kawaii Life - it's called Book or Booking, it's written like this; 【予約】. And the listing looks a bit different, there's no worn photos or different angles/detail shots like regular listings. There's also the estimated arrival month *not date and some information on the product.

Methods of payment

Tokyo Kawaii Life accepts; Visa, Mastercard, Diners club and American express so I would argue, most major credit cards. If you have a different card that is not one of the ones listed above then you may need to look into getting one listed.
I use a credit card personally but I've heard that debit cards which act as credit cards work as well. 
You can not use debit cards or pay pal on the site. 

 Contact Us

If for whatever reason you need to contact Tokyo Kawaii Life; this is the link like most other sites it's located on the bottom of the page. I would suggest using an automatic translator to help navigate this area as it's a bit tricky and you do need to know what your reading. 
Please be aware that TKL only reads Japanese.
If you can't write it, I've used a translator and basically apologized and explained I've used a translator and then ask my question. I also like to include the original English translation as well, just in case. (I normally pop the Japanese on top and the English on the bottom) Normally the response time... is quite long. I would say; 2-3 working days and you'll get a response. 

Delivery Date

Delivery date (or postage date) is where you can choose which day they send off your package. This is actually quite handy if you don't have any rush to get your items and receiving them later would benefit you. You can choose this at step 3 of ordering. 
They won't offer this service if the weather is bad however (ie. Typhoon) or around Christmas/New Years Eve simply because it's too busy for them to keep up with that service. 


Bulk Pay + Split Billing 

Tokyo Kawaii Life offers two methods of paying by credit - bulk or split. I've only ever done bulk, which means you'll pay the whole amount in one go at the point of purchase. 
Split billing means they'll divide the cost how ever many ways you specify.
I've never done this so I'm not sure how it works but I've been told you get charged for this option (By TKL) I don't know how much however. 
I'm also unaware as to if there would be extra billing on your credit cards end so if you want to try it you can but be aware there could be nasty additional costs. 
I'm also unaware how long they wait before dividing your payment since they don't specify it online. It could be 10 minutes it could be a week. I have no idea. If someone knows, maybe leave a comment so others can see? 

Using Points 


Every purchase you make with TKL earns you points based on how much you spend. On step three of the check out system you can enter points which basically convert to YEN value. 
I'm not 100% sure how much you have to spend to get how many points but you should be aware that your points expire. You can either save them up and use them to get a bigger discount or you can use little to cover small costs. 
Please be aware that your points expire so it's best to use them when you can other wise you miss out and if you buy from the site often, it's really something you should get into the habit of using because it's a really great way to save money. 
I'm pretty sure you can use points on anything on Tokyo Kawaii Life, even outlet or sale stock. Not sure about pre ordering or fukubukuro but everything else you can (to my knowledge).
You can use points on step 4 (it's right be fore you hit confirm,). 

Shipping from TKL

Shipping from TKL to anywhere in Japan costs 540 YEN. Personally, I don't think this is an astronomical amount but it's best you're aware of this cost. They do free shipping (from TKL) occasionally so if you can buy during that time you will save a small amount of money which is nice. 
(Remind: if you use a shipping service then you will still need to pay for shipping service costs. Free Shipping from TKL only covers the TKL shipping cost.)  
I think Emiii uses her points to pay for the domestic shipping if she can't get the free shipping and I think that's a pretty good idea.  


Fukubukuro 

Fukubukuro or Lucky Packs are bags (or suitcases) that are sold on New Years Day (January 1st). These bags aren't limited to Liz Lisa - a lot of brands do Fukubukuro. 
Liz Lisa and Tralala (and Penderie) generally do a variety of sizes, from 'small' (three items) Medium (4 / 5 items) or trunks (7 items). 
Note: Trunks are limited to Liz Lisa and Juge ETTA at the time of this post. 
Prices vary according to the size, small is the cheapest option and the trunk costs more. 
The contents of each bag varies and Liz Lisa (and Tralala) do release a sample of what is in each bag and what you can expect. If you're interested in the Fukubukuro but don't want to buy blindly, then I would suggest waiting for the sample release. 
I think the Fukubukuro are released online I think in Decemeber for 'pre order' or booking. I normally do pre order because it's less stressful and just easier for me so I don't have to worry about signing in online on the 1st or 31st and ordering it online. 
Fukubukuro are a lot of fun and really special because no other brands outside of Japan do this thing (to my knowledge) and they're for me, a really big novelty and quite exciting. Because the bags are different it's lots of fun to see what others get as well.

 
Happy Bags

Happy Bags are sold seasonally, each season may see (est.) 2-3 happy bags. They're generally only one size and have 3 items in them on average (a OP, a bottom and a top,) but please see the listing information for more accurate list of the contents. Happy bags are quite fun as well but I think you have more choice of items compared to the Fukubukuro so you have more chances to be disappointment (Or really happy).

What's the difference between a Fukubukuro and a Happy Bag?

 Basically, a Fukubukuro is special to New Years Day. Fukubukuro have special contents that are made especially for the Fukubukuro and you can't buy them online or in store while Happy Bags are released at any point of the season and have the seasonal stock in them so you have different chances of getting different things from the season or outlet. 

Novelties 

I don't think they do these too often online any more but they used to do them on Vent. I think they still do them for JugeETTA but they haven't done one for Liz Lisa or Tralala in so long I would say that they don't do them anymore for those brands but never say never. 
They're exactly the same as in store, spend a certain amount and you can get a gift for purchasing from the store. 
Novelties can range for many things from home goods to make up bags to bags etc.   


How to shop effectively 

This is of course going to be different for everyone and you'll have your own way you like so don't feel like you have to listen to me. 
I like to check every item basically. Sounds really tedious and long winded but it's not since I enjoy window shopping and I also like Liz Lisa. I like browsing through the stock and seeing what's on what page - personally. 
I find that this really helps me decide what I want to buy prior to it going on sale and also, I also like to check everything from front, to back to how it's coordinated. 
Taking the time to look at the stock online and really deciding what you want before it's on sale can really save you money later on. I find that, I know I'm after to begin with rather than looking at everything and making up rash decisions at the last minute. 
I also like making a note of which colour I like the item in the best so I know which one I'm going for when it's on sale. I find that this also gives me time to talk into or out of items when there's no pressure or time limits involved and I find that this actually saves me money and time when there's a sale. 
I think the best way to shop effectively is to simple look at TKL often and learn and watch when the sales are - even if you don't buy something when you look (and it's free too look) I'm sure once you've followed all the sales for one season you'll pick up a lot about stock and sales and how the site operates.




LONG TIME BUYER TIPS: 

1. Frequently check stock your interested. It's all well and good you'll be looking for items at the beginning of the season but I recommend checking if the items your interested in often. It's handy when sales come around because then you know what page the items your interested in are on. Also you won't be surprised if the colour way you're interested in is gone. 

2. Pink colour sells the best for clothing and jewelry. But for shoes, beige or white (depends on the colour options) seems too sell best more often than not. Of course there are exceptions to this but for the most part, I see pink clothing sell the most.

3.  Find the 'Key' pieces or 'hot' sellers. Like any label or brand, there's going to be items that sell better than others. Generally, these items sell, even at full price and they don't get restocked since the stores sell them well as well. 'Key' items can either be quintessential Liz Lisa (Those items that LOOK Liz Lisa,), key trend items, seasonal items (Swimwear) and Limited Edition Collaboration (My Melody and Yui Kanno for example) all sell well. You may want to consider purchasing at full price if you're interested in these items. 

3.2 Collab stock sells insanely fast, purchase immediately or risk missing out completely (or worse having to pay way over the original retail price for the item). 

4. Always browse the Outlet. You never know what you'll find and at what price. 

5. 'Seasonal' stock sells well!! What do I mean by seasonal? For summer, I mean bathers or swimsuits and in winter I mean scarves and gloves. Both these items sell well although they're not like limited items you might be okay with waiting for a sale. Though if you okay with risking it go for it.

6. Don't always wait for the end of season sales. Sometimes the sales in the middle are just as good - if not better because you get better option of colour/clothing than the end of season sale and the discounts might not be that much different. For example, clearance stock is generally 40-60% off but mid season sale (ie. secret sale) might be 50% off so really, it's not that much of a difference in discount and you're options are infinitely better at the 50% off. 

6.2 Learn when there's sales. Generally, Golden Week (holiday in Japan) has a sale, recently, there was the Guerrilla sale which was a decent sale as well so watch and learn. 


7. Skirts with the shorts built into them are called either skorts or sukapans. If you translate it directly, it translates to sukapan, but in English we call it a skort. 




Outer: Jackets and coats are located here. 

Tops: Blouses, cardigans, t-shirts, tops/

Bottoms: Skorts, skirts, pants, suspender skirts and shorts. 

(Note: Sets are under bottom if they're in the sold together,) 

One piece: Dresses, overalls, jumper skirts and rompers. 

Accessories: Everything from bags, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, hand towels, mirrors, rings, hats, scarves, gloves, watches, room mists, make up used to be under this when it was available online, beanies etc. etc. 

Shoes: Things that you put on your feet. All shoes are under shoes. 

(Shoes is new to Tokyo Kawaii Life, they used to be under accessories when it was VENT but they changed it for Tokyo Kawaii Life) 

And of course, there's the side bar (once your in each category,) and you can divide the search further that way if you would like. 



I think the best was to get used to Tokyo Kawaii Life is to simply browse it and look around however and just shop there when you can. It's the only way you'll learn to get better at using the site and pick up when sales will happen or to expect them. 

Hmmm, I feel like the post was quite lengthy and dull but hopefully you found it helpful and you enjoyed it and learned something new. 
Do you guys have any shopping tips and tricks to share? leave them down below!

Also, Emiii-chan will have a similar blog post up soon as well; please check hers out HERE

Thanks for stopping byyyyyy!
Berri




 

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7 comments

  1. Yayyyyyyyyyy! Lol our posts are so different. I love it. Definitely going to direct people here. I think it was great that you thought to analyze the stock photo models! Before i read this post I was responding to an ask on the Liz-Lisa tumblog and I included a thing about comparing her height to mine and wtf you've already thought about it! Genius :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now hurry up an publish yours!! Ohhh, I'm so curious to see what yours is gonna be like now!! I thought somehow they would be the same :/. Aha, yeah, I'll need to try and buy from the other models to compare but I really trust the 1st model so I'm always inclined to buy from her. XD I guess the model section will be an area I can work on cause they do change models every now and again. XD

      Delete
  2. Lovely post ^^ I buy from them very often hehe ^^


    恵美より ♥
    www.emi-doll.blogspot.jp

    JOIN MY GIVE AWAY: www.emi-doll.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/463-moo-mooo-moooh-navy-blue-lace-polka.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I buy from Tokyo Kawaii Life way way way too often XD

      Oohhh - a giveaway!!! How fun!!

      Delete
  3. This is a great post Berri! I'm sure it is useful to those new to shopping on TKL. :)

    Just to share my experience, I don't own any credit cards, but I do have debit and cash cards and they do get accepted. I think as long as the card are endorsed by Mastercard or Visa they should work fine on TKL. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do they ship international?

    ReplyDelete
  5. No, they don't ship internationally.

    ReplyDelete

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