Know as Japan’s dollar store, but should it be?
Daiso I known to many as being the epi-centre of all things cheap. From Electronics, to cosmetics, food, DVDs etc. It has it all.
Additionally there are many YouTube videos that feature tag lines such as “I buy dollar store makeup”, “I buy food from the dollar store” (note: if you want to see how prolific this is, just search ‘daiso’ on YouTube- the hits DO NOT END).
But the problem is that not all items are 100 JPY, some are 300, 400, 500 or higher and that is my first problem- it is NOT a dollar store nor is it as true 百円ショップ （ひゃくえん-100 yen）shop and It never claims to be- despite so much western media attention depicting it as that.
Another problem is that, while they have a good selection, shopping there makes you feel cheap or to put it a different way- it’s 100 yen, I suppose I can buy it at that price. Which is NOT how you want to feel shopping, it should be more “I can’t believe that it is only 100 yen”. Additionally, some items are of a poor quality which makes you as a very basic question- what am I buying.
But is there an alternative?
Of course, its Japan at the end of the day. My favourite and true 百円ショップ is Seria which to put briefly here (as the review is to come), seems to have much better quality of stock, has themed sections and displays, is always busy (having a lot of other people in a store helps your confidence when buying), and most importantly everything is actually 100 JPY + tax (so 108 JPY at time of writing).