So I was roaming about a local e-commerce (Shopee) looking for cool bargains on some stuff I have been eyeing on (mostly technical gadgets and game stuff), when a friend of mine suggested another e-commerce website to buy stuff from Japan, Dokodemo.
I bought things from Japan via HMV, CDJapan, AmiAmi
I used to buy a lot of stuff from Japan through websites like HMV, CDJapan, AmiAmi, etc. mostly to buy or even pre-order games, movies, music albums, and other limited edition collectibles. Well basically buying those that are hardly available to be bought here in Malaysia. So I am at least familiar with purchasing stuff from Japan, I have also used a number of proxy buyers to buy some stuff that is only limited to the Japan market.
I want to try a new shopping website! Dokodemo
This is my first time hearing about a shopping portal named Dokodemo. So I decided to give it a try, maybe this site has some good bargains.
This website sell cosmetics, makeup, and skin care mainly
I scrolled down, trying to figure out what stuff this website sells. Seems like mostly are cosmetics items, nothing much that relates with me.
It took me a while to get a grip on the user interface, as it is quite confusing on where to check on the category available, because I want to check what other items are available here.
I tried to look for the search field, so that manual type in and find some item of interest directly, but I can’t find the search button. To my surprise, the search button is there, right next to the “DOKODEMO” name, the one with the magnifying glass icon. The search icon seems to blend well with the “O” in the “DOKODEMO” so I didn’t realize that was a search button, ahaha.
Not much items listed about game console, toys, and playing cards etc.
I typed in keywords such as “Switch” or “PlayStation” in, but unfortunately it returns nothing. To be honest I am kind of disappointed for a little bit, huhu. But I am trying to think of other stuff that I can find here.
I found some action figures, but those can also be found here in Malaysia. The price on this site is slightly pricier though compared to the same stuff that can be found locally. So maybe I’ll try to find stuff that is not common here in Malaysia.
Some nice stationary items available on Dokodemo
Being a hobbyist (amateur) comic artist myself, I thought maybe I can find some specific japan-brand art supplies here. I searched for a category for that. But I’m not sure how the items are being categorized. I mean, look at the category screenshot, where the stationery supplies LOL.
I tried my luck by finding the keyword “Copic” (a brand for alcohol-based markers). Nope, no results found. Too bad, but I’ll give it another try, I searched for “Pentel” (another art tools brand).
Finally the system returns me with a long list of items. I scrolled down, looking at what they have. Seems like there are a lot of Pentel models I haven’t seen before. “Hmm, interesting”, I said to myself. Maybe I can find some replacement cartridge ink for my Pentel XFP5M (a medium sized brush pen with pigment ink). But considering Dokodemo seems to be shipping from Japan, I doubt the shipping will be cheap. So I didn’t put too much hope into it.
Trying to look into some of the interesting items, some may have item description and some don’t, I continued scrolling down into the “Other recommended items!” section. And there, I can’t believe my eyes. “Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush 48”, for RM284.66. I was like “Huh wait what!?”.
This is a good bargain that I can’t hardly keep my head straight. Okay, here’s a hint on how good this bargain is. I have never had these Kuretake tools before, but the current price being sold here in Malaysia (at least when I double check it with Shopee app), is RM13.90 per piece. Yes, per single brush pen. Multiply that with 48 pieces, that should be about RM667.20.
Yeah, maybe if I bought it in a bundle like this, the price will go cheaper perhaps, but I can’t seem to find a local online store that sells these items as a package like this (I found some but they are out of stock. And due to the pandemic season, going out to check if there are any in the physical local art store feels kind of a hassle, ahaha :P
So basically, this is no brainer, even with the shipping cost, the price is still cheaper than the ones sold locally. That is a bargain that I can’t ignore. I created an account on Dokodemo and registered.
Good Dokodemo’s mobile apps
I tried to study more on the website, checking on what other info I can find, such as payment options, shipping options, or any other fees perhaps. But I still find it quite confusing browsing them on a mobile web browser. Then I found out that Dokodemo also has a mobile application that can be installed on both iOS and Android.
Installed and opened. The interface doesn’t look much different than the ones on the web browser. But hey, they have a shortcut at the bottom, and that helps a lot if I may say so.
Having the shortcut grouped at the bottom really helped me quickly navigate around the app. And I can also easily find the search button, as well as going back to the home screen.
So I continued to look for the Pentel’s pigment ink cartridge for my brush pen, as well as trying my luck on the possibility of other good bargain I can find here, thinking that maybe I have cut the cost of shipping by having them shipped together (unfortunately this does work, but I’ll describe on this later)
As I mentioned earlier, I used to buy stuff from Japanese website before, so I kind of used to see the price in JPY. That way it is easier for me to gauge the price, as the price in MYR might not be that accurate upon purchasing them. Fortunately Dokodemo has the option for users to change the currency displayed.
Later then, I found the 2 items that I wanted and put them into the cart. Now I should be checking for other information in regards to the purchasing that I will be doing.
Dokodemo accepts PayPal, credit cards, Alipay too
Seems like Dokodemo supports PayPal, which is a good thing for me. There are actually a few methods of payments in case you don’t want to use PayPal, or you don’t have a PayPal account. The payment options are as follows:
Credit Cards (Visa/MasterCard)
But I fancy using PayPal more when buying stuff from overseas, easier to manage.
Dokodemo send parcels using EMS, ePacket, SAL, and Surface (ship)
In terms of shipping, somehow Dokodemo is also doing a shipping discount campaign if EMS (Express Mail Service) is selected as a shipping option, 25% off the EMS shipping price. There are a total of 7 shipping options to be chosen from, but I am unfamiliar with the others, and I will normally use either EMS (this is faster, with tracking, but slightly higher price), or SAL/Small Packet (cheaper, but take a longer time). The price varies based on the weight of the package.
The following are the the 7 types of shipping methods:
Express Mail Service (EMS)
International ePacket Light
Small Packet/SAL (Economy Air)
International Parcel/SAL (Economy Air)
International Parcel/Surface Mail
These shipping options vary from the estimated time of arrival, shipping insurance, tracking number, etc. I guess, depending on people, the priorities might be different. But having these options is a good thing, but not all of the options are available though it seems. But not all of these options are available I believe. It shall depend on the seller perhaps.
Combine items for shipment (only for items from the same seller)
Now time to make the purchases, but I found that each of the items have their own shipping price on them. Seems like both the “Kuretake” and “Pentel” items I want to buy are from different sellers, so I’m assuming combined shipping is not possible. Well to be honest, in the first place, I thought Dokodemo is just a single store selling lots of stuff (like Bic Camera). But now I learnt that Dokodemo is a platform for sellers in Japan to sell out their products to buyers outside of Japan, which kind of makes sense to me now. So these special offers and bargains also depend on the seller.
Anyway I read that there is a “combined shipping” concept here in Dokodemo, but I guess it is not applicable for all merchants perhaps. So I put aside the Pentel items, and proceeded to place an order for the Kuretake item.
Once I have the item in the cart, I find that checking out and paying them feels natural, and not much confusing like how I did in the first place during browsing.
Dokodemo point’s expiry date can be extended
Oh, and one other thing that piques my attention is how their point system works. For other sites that I have used, the points gained will always have an expiry date. Dokodemo also has the same rules for that, but unlike others, Dokodemo point’s expiry date can be extended.
For most of the other sites, the points will expire once a certain time has passed since the day of purchase. Meaning every point received, they will have their own expiry date. But here is where Dokodemo makes it different; they only have 1 expiry date. Meaning if you buy something before the points expire, the expiry date will be updated for another period of time, including the points that you collected before this. Meaning, as long as I continue buying something (which is eligible for regular points), my expiry will keep on being extended. Neat isn’t it~ :D (That is if I understand it correctly)
The value of the points seems to be quite standard with the other sites, at 1points = 1yen. But the idea of points that can be stacked and extended is interesting indeed. I might use this site more often in the future I guess. That is if I find any more items that fit my interest, which I hope so there will be more.
The delivery was smooth
So I placed my order on October 4, 2020, selecting EMS as my shipping method, and paying using PayPal. My expectation for EMS is around 3-7 days on average. But due to pandemic happening around the world, I am expecting that it may arrive even later. I also find that there is notice about the delay of international mail, so that is to be expected. I later received my item on October 14, 2020.
Finally, my wait is over! I have used other colouring mediums such as pencil and alcohol based marker before, but I’m not really that good with using watercolour. Anyway, time to give this thing a try.
So far, this is really a neat tool to be used to make watercolour art. I have to say, it would make a big difference if I have the proficiency with watercolour. My first test looks a bit weird. But after experimenting with some techniques of controlling the water, and understanding how watercolour works, I think I can get a grasp to handle this tool. But I think I will need to find a watercolour paper for better results when using the Kuretake watercolor brush.
Good packing with no damage at all
As in all, I am very satisfied with the said product quality. Not to forget mentioning the good bargain I found here when compared to the one sold in Malaysia, this is literally a no-brainer, and definitely cannot resist price. Shipping time is within expectation, and it is properly wrapped/padded with some padding inside to avoid any damage to the actual product (lucky to have this, since somehow the mail man just threw the parcel into my porch).
* This article is not a sponsored article. The writer has no connection with any of the parties/companies including Dokodemo, Pentel, and Copic mentioned in this article. This is not an affiliated article too.