Shopping etiquette in Dept. stores
When you approach a busy counter, you might be handed a waiting number. Play with samples and wait until your number is called (or keep the number visible). Sales associates might not speak English, so please be positive and patient if you don't speak Japanese. In bigger dept. stores you might be able to ask for English or Chinese assistance. The SAs are often very willing to apply the products on you, which is great if you want to test out a blush, a lipstick or match a foundation before purchasing. Sit on a chair at the testing area and place your bag and coat into a basket provided. Test the items you like, and don't be afraid to ask for a different color or product.
Some department stores give 5~10% discount coupon to tourists, so ask about it before paying. Once you're ready to purchase they often hand you a little tray for credit card or cash. Often the cosmetic counters don't have their own register, you need to wait for a moment as the SA goes to other side of the hall. When you're handed your make up products they check and show you there's no mistaken colors or damaged items. This is to avoid complaints. If you don't want your products be opened, please inform them.
Notice the tax might be added to the price at the time of payment, often the prices listed on the counter/packaging/shelf are tax free. If you purchase tax free, you need to take the purchased items, passport and receipts to a different counter (often in downstairs). This is not the case in all shops, but often in department stores. They will check your purchase and return the tax to you as cash.
I hope you found this post was helpful! I love talking about Japan, and there will be many more posts to come. If you're looking for reviews of a particular item, please check my tag cloud for the brand/product type or click Japanese make up. If you have any questions about shopping in Japan or requests regarding these series or a particular product(s), please leave me a comment! I hope you're having a wonderful day and talk to you soon. x
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