Recently I used Celga to purchase a few items from Japan. It was my first time using a shopping service. Previously I had just ordered directly from btssb themselves. The lucky pack wasn't available overseas for a short period of time, and I didn't know it was going to be, so I looked at a few shopping services and picked Celga based on their price/reviews, and later ordered something else based on a promotion.
First, I put in an order for a btssb lucky pack. The transaction went smoothly, and even though I had a million questions, they were very polite and answered them all. They were very quick to update the status of my order, and an automated email was sent when it arrived in the warehouse. I also decided to order a pattern book, and inquire about free omake (I chose a meta hoodie) for new orders. A couple weeks later, they informed me it was avalible and my items were there. I requested a shipping invoice and recieved it quickly. So to sum it up, the people at Celga were very helpful. They were very friendly, and I got every question answered, no matter how unimportant. I'm giving them 5/5 because they exceeded my expectations. I've never seen a company give out free brand, (except of course, the company itself) so that was really nice. I gave it to my sister, as her first brand item. She insisted we share it since we share all our lolita, and was absolutly delighted with celga for including it XD
BILL PAYMENT: 2/5
When I looked at the bill, I was very confused, because they billed me for the entire thing, despite having paid for the lucky pack and book (not the fees) upfront. They also had the shipping for the btsbb lucky pack on there as $14, when it stated free shipping withing Japan. I emailed them politely asking about this. They responded by basically saying I don't owe any money, and not addressing the shipping issue at all. Obviously, I did owe money because I had not paid the fees yet. I asked my friend in Japan who also ordered a lucky pack if there was maybe an option for a different (not free) shipping method. She said there was not, and that they were probably trying to collect fees they did not encounter. I don't want to believe that they would be dishonest, so i'm going to guess they inquired about a quicker shipping method or something. I also noticed they tacked on $3 or $4 to the item, even though according to the exchange rate on the site said it should be less. While I find it a bit unprofessional, it didn't bother me. I just thought I should include it in the review since this may bother some people.
Then they sent me an invoice for the shipping. Looking at the chart, and weight, I thought it was going to be $85, but it ended up weighing less, (yay!) and they invoiced me for $75. I paid the $75, then emailed them once again about the fees since I haven't received a proper invoice. They (again) ignored the question about the shipping and responded with:
You paid the shipping invoice, but you still owe $65 for the item invoice. If you need that resent, please let me know. We'll ship as soon as that amount is paid.
I just went ahead and paid the fees through paypal, instead of asking or another invoice. I feel that while the billing department of Celga seems a bit unprofessional, they were always sweet. I wish they had answered all my questions, but at least they were nice, and it wasn't the worst experience, so I still gave them 2 stars.
I picked EMS for the shipping. It shipped 2/3 and arrived 2/6. There was a sticker on the box declaring that customs went through it. Everything was just thrown about, but this wasn't Celga's fault. Next thing I did was read the sheet on the front of the box. They paid 4,700 yen in shipping, which with their exchange rate is $65.27. I seriously doubt a (probably reused) small brown box, and a bit of masking tape cost them $10, but I can deal with that.
Celga put all the items in their own plastic bags, which I kind of liked. Ideally i'd be the first one to open the lucky pack, but I understand it's their job to check the contents of things and make sure it's right. The hoodie had a tiny stain, but it was free and I was really really happy when the arm length was perfect for my sister and I.<3 (anyone know how to get a food stain out of knit?) I can't say much about how they packaged anything otherwise, because like I said, customs went through it, but from what I can tell it was good.
What upset me is the fact that I didn't ask them to mark down the price on the package and they did. I didn't even think companies did this without asking, since it is illegal. The main reason I went with EMS is because (for me) it was a large purchase and if it got lost I want to know that I will get everything back, especially since my fiance was paying for the lucky pack as a gift. It may have helped me avoid customs fees, but I would have liked them to ask if they were going to mark it down at all. I'm actually lucky they didn't over charge me for lying because celga had stickers on each item's bag with my name and the item's link and price on it.
A breakdown of what I paid for everything:
$213- lucky pack (marked $160 on the box)
$49- book (marked $40 on the box)
$65- internal shipping, bank fees, item fees
$75 international shipping
Total: $402 (ouch)
For the lucky pack, book and hoodie I feel it was good. Part of that feeling may come from the fact that the bill was split. My fiance paid $250 for the lucky pack, and I paid the rest, which was $152. I'm only judging Celga's fees in my rating. Celga made a commission of $30. I wish it had been a bit less, but when I take into account the service provided, and work put into getting my item to me, I feel it was reasonable.
I feel like this is a fair rating, given the fact that I had a few problems. I would probably use Celga again, if they had a good promotion running or I REALLY wanted something on YJ. I would, however, ask them not to mark down the package and try to avoid the billing center. I think i'll stick to just ordering from brands and bodyline directly, even if it means not getting a lucky pack. Sorry this is incredibly long. 10 internet points if you actually sat through the whole thing. ^^