PERSONAL SHOPPER JAPAN
Singapore shoppers are the top customers (over 700) in Southeast Asia of this Japanese start-up, says CEO who’s also an antique dealer licensed by the Japanese police department.
Top shopping categories are fashion, followed by electric guitars, Japanese car parts, fishing tackles and bike helmets. “As for unusual requests, I’ve had Singapore shoppers asking for the Furo Oke (the wooden Japanese bath tub, and the Namahage tribal festival mask.”
The average spend of the Singapore shopper is 16,276 yen (S$203), although the average Hong Konger spends at least twice the amount.
Mr Matsuda is an art auction agent who started his business in Yokohama City in 2011. His first customer was an Australian who wanted to buy a Shisa (lion-dog) statue. He had the advantage because very few retailers ship outside of Japan and even if you find what you want online, the store may not accept a Singapore credit card.
“Some buyers may have forgotten to buy a souvenir, or they’re interested in buying limited edition products sold exclusively in Japan,” he says.
Personal Shopper Japan charges 10 per cent of the total item cost, with a minimum charge of 1,500 yen (S$19) for each store. So if you receive a Christmas gift pack of squid ink cheese crackers and green tea granola from Kyoto, you’ll know the real truth: Santa’s workshop isn’t in the North Pole anymore – he’s moved to cyberspace.
The Business Times Singapore