In early November, I saw a new lolita release from Royal Princess Alice that I knew I had to have. While Royal Princess Alice does not ship overseas, they do accept foreign credit cards. This means that you can place an order with them directly and use a mail forwarding service to receive your package.
The most common service for this is Tenso. When you sign up with Tenso, you are given a Japanese address that you can use to ship items to from Japanese companies. When you package arrives at Tenso, they will send you a message. You can choose to have them hold your package and consolidate multiple packages.When you’re ready, you can have them ship your item to your address anywhere in the world.
Signing up with Tenso was easy. I created a free account, which generated a Japanese address. Their website is really specific about how to enter your Japanese address into a shopping cart system, with lots of different versions of how to use the Tenso information. This is important because if your address isn’t entered correctly, Tenso won’t be able to associate your package with your account. I was really nervous about this part! (Although a friend told me that even if you mess up your Tenso address, Tenso will attempt to reunite you with your package.)
On November 4, I placed my order with Royal Princess Alice. November 11 I received an email confirming my payment and reminding me that my dress would not ship for several months. On January 30, I got an email saying my package had been dispatched with a tracking number. Then on January 31, Tenso received my package and emailed me. The same day, I paid for shipping to the US. On February 2, 2023, Tenso shipped my package. It arrived to my home in Los Angeles on February 7, 2023! I opted for EMS because it was the cheapest and fastest with insurance.
Tenso charges a small fee for storing and shipping your item, plus the actual shipping charges. For this package, Tenso charged me a 600 yen handling fee and 50 yen service fee, which is less than $5. Pretty good deal!
On February 2, 2023, Tenso shipped my package. It arrived to my home in Los Angeles on February 7, 2023! From start to finish, Tenso accounted for only 3 days of my package’s transit time. Their service was fast, cheap, and easy to navigate. I kind of can’t believe it’s taken me this long to use it!