Shipping update! Everything that we ship from our offices in Tokyo Japan is still being shipped by DHL and FedEx and is accurate as of March 17th 2021. The only region we cant ship to right now is Russia. Folks in Russia will have to wait until the pandemic is over when we can start shipping by EMS.
Since last April-ish, we switched to courier shipping but kept shipping fees the same as an effort to continue shipping throughout the pandemic. We did raise the free shipping hurdle, but we continue to pay for shipping at rates much higher than EMS.
"Free shipping" does not mean DHL likes you and wants to pay the shipping - it means that we pay the shipping for you ;-)
The courier services deliver much quicker than EMS - in some cases, folks tell me that they get their goodies the next day even though they live in the US.
However, there is a downside to this - increased customer dissatisfaction and contacts to our team if they don't get their goodies within a couple of days.
I have reduced my team's working hours so that they can avoid Tokyo's sardine trains where possible during the pandemic. Even still, we promise to ship within whatever is stated on the product detail page - the shipping-out time is now set to "within 15 business days." Business days do not include weekends or Japan public holidays.
Even if you previously got your package the next day, please do not presume that your goodies will arrive in the same time frame on a subsequent order - this is due to many factors completely outside of our control - and perhaps a global pandemic for example?
If a customer asks us where their stuff is within the shipping-out time, we will have to presume that they need their stuff assembled and shipped out quicker than we can commit to. We put their order on hold and send it to the back of the queue while we reconfirm that the shipping time we asked for is still acceptable or not. If not acceptable, we cancel and refund the full amount paid. If acceptable, we continue to ship but the package remains at the back of the queue, resulting in an extra few days added to the shipping-out time.
What annoys me is that we are told our team is tardy and inadequate and that a "paying customer" should come above everything else.
To appease such a customer, I could force the team to work six days a week (Japan's production industry often works 6 days a week) - and further force them to work until at least the last train (like most Japanese companies) at 12 midnight - this way we should be able to assemble and ship faster for the customer.
But alas, you will find no appeasing the customer in Smart Doll Land. Folks who find our business practice of putting team welfare above a paying customer should enjoy some Rick Astley instead.
To put it as bluntly as I possibly can - I do not want the money of anybody who doesn't give a flying sheep about the welfare of the people who create the product. If you do not care about our people - we do not care about your money.
If this post has put off customers from buying from us then the purpose of this post has worked ;-) Just as Keikaku.
As you can see from the photos - even the Smart Dolls are helping out and doing the best they can ;-)