Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goody-Japan (Review)

[Update on 31/12/2015: This post was initially done in 2013 and I realised that this will appear on top of google list when you search for 'goody japan review'. To be fair, Goody-Japan made some changes which I wrote here and here. I am still using their service until now and I don't think there is any latest update after the last time I wrote about them last year.]

I admit that I am a complain king and I will not hesitate to bash shitty service like what I did with Shopping Mall Japan/SMJ (www.shoppingmalljapan.com) previously here and here. However, I am a very reasonable person and as such, I will give credit where it is due. This time it will be for Goody-Japan (http://goody-japan.com/index.html). It is another middleman service for shopping from Japanese shops which only ship to Japan. And because I only have experience with SMJ and Goody-Japan, my feedback will be largely based on the comparison between the two.

Don't judge a book by its cover! Yup, I regretted choosing SMJ over Goody-Japan for a simple reason that Goody-Japan's webpage is less user friendly. However, the webpage is actually idiot-proof, you can find every information that you need to use its service without any need to contact the customer service. When you clicked on "e-mail", there is an option to tick whether the question is urgent and they will try to reply within 5 hours. Now this seems to be a LONG period and one may wonder how long it will take for a reply if one does not tick the urgent. Based on my personal experience for a few times, the customer service is MUCH MUCH better than the shitty SMJ which replies only once a day. Goody-Japan will reply as soon as the officer is online. And if you happen to quickly reply after getting a reply from them, it is highly likely that the person will reply back immediately!

Another reason for a better customer service is that when you want more information about the item you are interested in, Goody-Japan will contact the merchant and then get back to you. Yup, the reply thus may take longer time but you can be assured that the reply comes from the merchant who is selling the item. Compare this to SMJ which can't be bothered to contact the seller and will just write or describe whatever the merchant writes in the item description. Oh yeah.. how helpful is that? Any idiot still want to ask a question if the answer is there?

Moving on to the deposit system, I can't say which is better as I think both have their pros and cons. For Goody-Japan, you simply send them the amount you wish to use for bidding via PayPal before you bid the item. If you lose the item, you can request the deposit to be refunded. It can be trouble some to keep playing ping pong with deposit.. But when it is urgent, it is more convenient than SMJ's maximum authorised amount. Bleah.. their processing time to increase the authorised amount is quite laggy and best is that you won't even get notification whether your request has been processed. But I will favour Goody-Japan simply because they receive deposit in Yen or USD. Thus only Paypal rate applies instead of SMJ's bullshit rate of 5 yen less than whatever prevailing exchange rate if I am not wrong. Boo..

Bidding-wise, this is where Goody-Japan is not so good as you cannot control your bid real-time like with SMJ. It seems that there is no sniper service too but if you request, Goody-Japan can also snipe for you. Yup.. Perhaps the other thing that SMJ is better than Goody-Japan is for translation of the item descriptions.
In addition, invoice management is another field where Goody-Japan is lacking. We do not actually have an account which we can log in to monitor our purchases so we will end up with a flooded email inbox o_0

So am I biased? Haha.. No.. You can only know how good a service is after you encounter some problems with your items. I had an item which arrived damaged with Goody-Japan. I mentioned it in this post but I did not mention the middleman service at that post because at that time, I was still not sure whether Goody-Japan will be good or will be as crappy as SMJ. Anyway, that Squall & Bahamut cost me about 30000 Yen. Goody-Japan actually took the initiative to inspect the item and informed the about the damage (including the picture) when they notified me that item arrived at their office. Isn't that fantastic? I arranged for a return and a refund because no way I would be paying 30000+ Yen for a damaged item and Goody-Japan helped me to settle the return and refund without much nonsense and excuses like SMJ. Best part is, I received my 30000 yen back in full!! WOW!! I was expecting that I would have to pay for the shipping, return shipping, wiring fee, and etc. But no, I paid NONE for that damaged item.

When another Squall & Bahamut appeared near the year end, I definitely used Goody-Japan again. And perhaps it was God's blessing that the 30000 yen one was damaged and refunded. I won the latter one for 17000+ Yen only!! Woohoo.. This time, thank God it arrived safely at Goody-Japan office and it arrived safely to me. Hehe.. And this is where I would give another thumbs up to Goody-Japan for their packaging. Knowing that Squall is at high risk being damaged when Bahamut is resting on top of it, they packed Squall separately on another small box so there was no way that it could be crushed under Bahamut.

So in summary,
Goody-Japan pros:
-Great communication, relatively quick reply and multiple replies a day is possible
-Will help you to contact the original seller for more details of the items
-Automatic email confirmation for your deposit and your bidding
-Able to help with return of damaged item
-Great packaging
-Great initiative to notify buyer about damaged item on arrival
-Idiot-proof and informative webpage
-Fair exchange rate

Goody-Japan cons:
-Less control over bidding
-Deposit system (I personally don't favour their deposit system. Not bad but not my liking)
-No "account" in the webpage
-No "search function", no "translation function"
-Webpage is not really user friendly

Compare to SMJ pros:
-"Account" in the webpage to monitor your purchases
-"Search function" (although I don't use it.. I am an idiot because whatever I key in, it always yielded me no results.. Haha) to browse through item from several online shops concurrently
-"Translation function" with multiple translator alternative
-Greater control over bidding activity

But SMJ cons:
-Poor communication, once a day reply
-Instead of asking sellers, SMJ will simply mention item descriptions or say the obvious things from the pictures i.e did not even bother to contact seller
-No notification on your requests eg. registering credit card, changing transaction limit, etc
-Ridiculous exchange rate
-Irresponsible when item arrived damaged, could not be bothered with how they handled the item
-Caused my item to be damaged, did not even contact Japan Post for insurance, refused to refund, rude and even called me fraudulent bla bla bla when enough evidence was given that item was damaged, caused me to incur loss close to USD 800

Okay I shall stop before the cons are getting too personal... Haha..

Anyway, Goody-Japan did not pay me anything to write this. This is a purely honest customer feedback from a happy customer of Goody-Japan :) And apologies if I sound too biased against SMJ. You will understand how I feel when you "lost" USD 800 for an item which arrived damage and the middleman refused to extend any help at all but calling you names instead.

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