When I was in Japan last year, my absolute favourite thing to do was ‘Ichiban Kuji’. Ichiban Kuji is essentially like a lottery, you buy x amount of tickets and peel them away revealing what prize you will get. Prizes range from being something simple like keychains to exclusive figurines. Earlier this month, I was itching to try some more Ichiban Kuji and had a look at different online services. I found a few but for many the shipping price didn’t make the experience worth it. That’s when I stumbled upon Aitai Kuji. What drew me to Aitai Kuji was that it was actually started by a blogger who wanted to share anime related items with the rest of the world. I had a look at their Kuji items, and found one I was willing to give a shot.
The Sumikko Gurashi Kuji was half price, from USD $10 down to $5 (at the time of purchase, now it’s like $3.75!). Now I just want to really emphasis this is NOT a sponsored post. I paid for these items with my own hard earned money, and did not include in any communication that I was a blogger! I initially was only going to buy one item to try it out, but figured what the heck, I’ll do 3. I bought 3 tickets in the same transaction. The total cost equaled to be USD $30 (ticket USD $5 + Shipping USD $5). After paying you immediately get taken to your receipt which shows what items you won. This was where I got super shocked. I had won 3 O prizes, that is, for USD $30 I won three of the exact same penguin bath mats. At first I laughed, and then I just felt this crushing wave of disappointment. What the heck was I gonna do with 3 bath mats!?
I immediately sent an email to them with my order number, and asked that at least one item be swapped out for a lower item. I honestly would have preferred a key chain than another identical penguin bathmat. I received a reply 2 days later saying that as per their terms and conditions Ichiban Kuji prizes cannot be swapped out – fair enough. I replied again saying that was fine but I was super disappointed to receive three penguin bathmats. Another 2 days later I received a reply saying that the person had talked to their manager and they were willing to swap one penguin out for a polar bear – HALLELUJAH!
My items were shipped a week after purchase and arrived at my place on the 16th, about 5 days after they had been shipped. The items were very carefully packed, and it was quite exciting to pull them out and have a look. The bath mats weren’t super big, but still quite a nice size, I’ve already put the penguin and polar bear one out. The quality is also very nice and the mats are soft.
The Aitai Kuji customer service where incredible and really did erase my feelings of disappointment regarding my experience. However I do have 2 suggestions that perhaps could have prevented it from happening in the first place + 1 just to add a bit of fun
- At the page with the item details there should be a list saying how much of each item is left. In Japan when you buy Ichiban Kuji you can see what items remain and can make your purchase according to this information.
- While the ‘draw’ is automated/ random there should be some rule that someone who buys more than 2 tickets won’t receive all items the same. It was probably just awful luck for me to originally receive 3 penguin bathmats, but this will stop it happening again to anyone else!
- Between the payment page & the ‘receipt’ page where you know what items you got, maybe there should be a cute animation. This will just help build up the tension, as the excitement of finding out what you got is most of the fun!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post. I will be heading back to Japan in April this year, I’m so excited. I’ll definitely be playing some more Ichiban Kuji while I’m there and will share my experience with them on here! Hope everyone has a fantastic week 🙂