Mind you, 85 pesos sounds cheap, but when compounded to 25 or so items, can add up to a lot already. This is what happened to me when I bought 36 cute knick-knacks at the store, while still promising to come back for more. It’s just good that the staff and cashiers are friendly and helpful. Here are my own tips for shopping sanely and effectively in Saizen, the authentic 100-yen (hyaku-en) shop in Manila, after Japan’s very own Daiso chain of stores:
1. Look out for their products labelled Made in Japan. Some of the stuff is Made in China, and if you say China, you might as well look in Divisoria. Japan-made means you’re assured of the quality and the uniqueness of the item, such as those bento picks, onigiri rice ball maker and other kitchen accessories I chose.
2. Have a shopping budget, and stick to it. It’s hard when everything you see is cute and pretty so you might as well set money aside. The difficult part is that the store accepts credit cards, which brings you the illusion that you can have this and have that 😛
3. Be ready with your own shopping list. Related to No. 2. Having a list means you’re guided on what to buy, and will not act on impulse.
4. Look elsewhere before you buy. The shopping savvy would do well being familiar with various shopping destinations in the metro and compare prices. This is so you’ll not be overwhelmed on your first Saizen visit and scoop up something you see at the first opportunity.
5. Shop hungry. This is my own general shopping mantra. I do find that when I am out on an empty stomach, I tend to like things less. Of course it didn’t help that I was in the store till its closing hour and by the time I got out, most of the restos were about to close too.
6. Promise to come back next time. Yes Virginia, there will always ne next time. So don’t fill your shopping basket like there’s no tomorrow. Prioritize what to buy, and you’ll be fine. Happy shopping! 😛