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Business Gift?

nemrac99

後輩
4 Feb 2004
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Hi, what a great site/forum! This is my first post...I really love the smileys, too!

My question regards sending a gift to a business associate in Japan. Here's the story:

I collect kimono and there is an ebay seller in particular from whom I buy A LOT. Sometime before Christmas I was bidding on a Meiji-era boys kimono (beautiful!) and won it. It was in pretty good condition, except for a couple of small tears where the fabric had become weak. Even with the damage, it's a fantastic piece, with a hand-painted yuzen eagle on a mountain top, with a bit of embroidery. I was aware that the fabric was weak when I placed a bid. I won the auction for $127.

After the auction I received an email, saying that as they were preparing the kimono for shipment, they tried to remove a sticker that had been placed on it, and unfortunately in doing so tore the underlying fabric. With *profuse* apologies, he said he would refund my money and send the kimono anyway. I'm always blown away by the kindness of the Japanese people I deal with, but especially this person.

I was a little apprehensive about the tear. He made such a big deal I thought it might be ruinous. But when I got the kimono I realized the tear wasn't really that bad, given the previous condition. Now there are only *3* small tears, instead of 2. Now I would like to return the kindness by sending along a small gift when I send money for my latest auction wins.

My dilemma is this: I don't really *know* this person socially, only by email, so I'm not quite sure what I can send that will be appropriate. I don't even know what he looks like. I had always imagined him as a middle-aged man, but I heard from another kimono seller that he has "blonde" hair, which leads me to believe he might be a little younger and maybe, a little more "hip".

I was thinking of maybe sending a nice bottle of wine, since it's fairly expensive in Japan, or maybe some nice American whiskey/bourbon/scotch. Nothing *really* expensive, but something that is hard to get in Japan and above all, something he will like and that WON'T be offensive!

I just want to repay the kindness in some small way, not overly cheap OR expensive. I'm not sure where to find info on shipping alcohol to Japan...can I even do this?? I thought about chocolates, but he's a guy and it just doesn't seem "nice" enough.

Any suggestions are appreciated! 🙂

Carmen

PS) I've given bourbon to anther business associate the last two years running, but he is an American and is related to my professional work as a programmer, not my private hobby. I guess this might be why I'm stuck on the idea of wine or bourbon...
 
My previous experiences with business partners, younger or older, male or female, is that you can't go wrong with alcohol, specially wine. Per chance, you don't live near the Napa Valley? I heard about some good wine (though overpriced) that is made there.
:)

Of course if there is something more characteric to your region or country that is a lot more difficult to find in Japan, go for it.
Just don't send food. It can get delayed in customs and spoiled and there's always the risk that the person might not like it, but... in the end, it's the gesture that counts.
 
No, actually I live in Texas. But I'm guessing that what I would pay here in Dallas is a whole lot less than I might pay in Osaka. I'm glad wine is the way to go, because it's what I prefer.

Thanks! 🙂
 
i found this this morning, while looking for some travel packages etc
choose city business guide --> tokyo in the drop down list
some advice about business gifts are on the page somewhere, i definitely saw it
hth gl
 
I also read the site Budd sent, it's really informative and good, so thank you also on my side 🙇‍♂️

But I was just wondering:
It seems quite probable that I'll work as a trainee next summer in Kyoto.
I will purchase some gifts to bring with me (thought about some finnish design from my work).
I have been in "close" contact with 3 different persons, so I thought about buying a gift to each one of them. Is this correct, and should I also buy something for the whole staff etc? And should I think about the hierarchy when buying/giving business gifts, so that the leader in the community would get something more valuable etc?
When is the most appropriate time to give the gift, as soon as I meet them?

And Nemrac99, your hobby seems to be really interesting.. wish I had some kimonos too!
 
please give me a week to get the info, thanks!

i agree with all of that, but i will ask a japanese friend (or two, or three) to make sure...
 
Here's an update on what I found:

I was told by my friendly neighborhood postal worker that it's AGAINST THE LAW to send a bottle through the US Postal system. So I checked with alternative shipping and found that neither UPS, FedEx or DHL allow US citizens to ship alcohol to Japan. It doesn't seem to be a question of whether Japan law allows it. Instead, it's *their* policy not to ship it, unless you happen to be a distributor of alcholic beverages here in the US, in which case they want you to set up a business account. A DHL rep actually told me they consider it a flammable material! (we're talking WINE here, folks) If I were traveling to Japan and simply stowed it in my luggage, 3 bottles and under would incur no customs fees.

Long story short: I sent some fancy French chocolates and now have 3 nice Italian wines for myself!

Chipi, don't get me started! I'll bore everyone to death with all my kimono talk!
 
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