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I shop online a lot. Haha.
As for Rakuten, I've bought from them 3 times. Generally, the shops ship within Japan only. But, if you're not located in Japan and don't want to pay the commission fee for a shopping service, then Rakuten has an international page. That way, shops will ship directly to you, even if you don't have a Japanese address. C:
I've used both the Rakuten international shipping service I just mentioned, and separate shopping services. All of them were fine, but of course, using Rakuten's own international page is cheapest. C:
I've bought from Wanboo (secondhand clothing) via Tenso. When you use the global site, you can only shop from stores that ship to your country, so you'll have to change your settings to say "Ship to Japan (or worldwide through forwarding)" instead of "Ship to United States/Canada/etc." If you click on a store that doesn't ship to the country you've specified, you'll get a message like "The shop [shopname] does not ship any items to [your country] currently" and you can click on [your country] to set it to Japan.Tenso is easy to use and they're currently running a shipping promotion through Rakuten.
rakuten international imo has a very flawed structure. it is basically a half Richard Simmons translation of its own website with very little sales processing. you are still directly doing business with the stores in rakuten which limits communication if only english is used. i think at the very least the payment process should be handled by rakuten. charge their stores a small fee for handling international payments if they want to do business worldwide.im currently experiencing a problem where the store has asked me to pay via bank transfer instead of my credit card due to i guess security concerns. im sure many stores in rakuten are wary like this. they are simply not ready for international customers. now i can do a bank transfer very easily, but i have no idea what the other end will charge me for an international funds transfer. theres still too much guesswork at play where both sides have little confidence.for a company as large as rakuten, youd expect a more polished way of doing business. why not adopt a model similar to shopping services? if you want to purchase something off rakuten, id say just pay a little extra and use a shopping service. it will make life a lot easier.