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Unread 05-23-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
Pennilee
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AScosing + artistic*sprouts

I'm not sure where to put it, but...

So I found two cosplay shops on ebay: AScosing and artistic*sprouts. The second one seems to make really good cosplay, and their photos are great, but both of the shops have the exact same photos, each with their own watermark on the pics. Then I discover that they're alike in many ways, and they even charge the same shipping (a bit weird, I find... but that may be just me) and... I don't know, but are they both the same store? Just asking.

If this is not allowed, please let me know and I'll delete it if I can!
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Unread 06-07-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
underthesea
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I've been looking at the artistic*sprouts cosplay shop also, i was wondering if you ended up buying from either shop in the end and how it went?
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Unread 06-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Hakaider
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I dealt with both Artistic*Sprouts & AScosing before, so perhaps I can help.

They are both very good, although they are a bit higher priced than the average commissioner from China. They also tend to use a higher quality of fabrics & materials than the others, but they also take a bit longer to complete the costume.

The reason that the pictures are the same for both, is because they both are very good friends with 2 different companies. ( I asked Artistic*Sprouts before about it, and they explained it to me. Artistic*Sprouts is also very good in responding to all my questions.)

The models in the pictures are also modeling the costumes that they have made, so they are one of the few commissioners from China, who don't swipe the pictures from other cosplayers.
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Unread 06-22-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
underthesea
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Thanks for your help, its definitely eased some of my worries.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 11:28 PM   #5
Hearthem
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I was looking at Shingeki no Kyojin cosplays and I just ran in to this! I'm very thankful. I'm definitely going to buy from either of them! To me it seems like the combo of expense + quality that fits my budget + needs.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
Unaki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakaider View Post
They are both very good, although they are a bit higher priced than the average commissioner from China. They also tend to use a higher quality of fabrics & materials than the others, but they also take a bit longer to complete the costume.
I would rather go over-budget and get a quality outfit from artistic*sprouts than stay under budget and get one that may or may not be good. You get what you pay for
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Unread 08-29-2014, 07:23 AM   #7
Taiga_Chan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearthem View Post
I was looking at Shingeki no Kyojin cosplays and I just ran in to this! I'm very thankful. I'm definitely going to buy from either of them! To me it seems like the combo of expense + quality that fits my budget + needs.

Did you order a costume from them? Do you have any pictures of it?
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Unread 09-02-2014, 12:55 PM   #8
usuyukisou
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I'm just going to copy-paste what I wrote in a private message.

Quote:
I suspect that [both are] not really affiliated with ASCosing because they are still using Tomia's cosplay photos, and the real ASCosing has already honoured their compliance agreement to stop using Tomia's photos.

This is the original ASCosing listing that used to feature Tomia's photos. They have already switched to a Chinese cosplayer here.
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=37470564256
If you look at the price, it says the "original price" for only the dress is 585 RMB with domestic shipping 8 RMB. Adding on 4% fee for foreign transaction (this is the Paypal rate; selling on Ebay may incur other costs). Convert that to USD is ~$103. Even adding ~$40 shipping, this particular Ebay seller is making $32.75... In China, that is very significant free money.

Now, you will not save $32.75 by buying with shopping service, because they take about 10%. But going through a shopping service, your total (assuming you are in the US) will be about $153 --- significantly less than the marked-up $175.75.

Stores can charge foreigners more, from a reasonable difference (cost of running/managing a second storefront) to a little jarring ("this is what foreigners consider reasonable, so I have to make it that much more costlier or they will suspect my products' quality"), which is why stores that do have official English storefronts will definitely advertise it on their Taobao page. (Consider Lucaille: http://shop33700042.taobao.com <- image-heavy, but right on the top banner, they mention their English site). Stores like Grand Young and Ayanamisatoru will outright refuse certain buyers if they suspect they are shopping services, and direct them to their Ebay store.

(For a comparison of reasonable price mark-up, see these two Ayanamisatoru listings:
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=3004865830
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Final-Fantas...-/360818247551
Ebay costs $40 including shipping, versus Taobao listing's $24.67... That's a difference, that extra $15 includes the Ebay and foreign transaction fees, and roughly $9-10 economy shipping.)

The other point that strikes me as suspicious is the inclusion of items from other storefronts, namely the wigs. Another item that I find suspect is an Elsa tiara in their Frozen section. It looks nothing like the one that official ASCosing offers with their Coronation Elsa set ( http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=39269125520 [scroll to the bottom and wait for the image-heavy page to load... the one on the model is harder to see because of lighting]).

Also, that Ebay store still offers a Puella Magi Madoka Magica section. The real ASCosing has removed that offering for around a month now.

Those are my thoughts. Sorry for being long-winded.
tl;dr ver:

The stores in Ebay are unauthorised resellers at significant mark-ups. You will save yourself significant money by using a shopping service to buy from the official store front. It's worth learning how to navigate Taobao in general to maximize your dollars.

If you can't read, say, your series title in Chinese, you can go to the Wikipedia page for your series, look on the left sidebar for the languages, and click on the link "中文" which will take you to the series' Chinese page. Then, on the right hand bar, look for the 正式譯名 (Official Translated Name) and 常用譯名 (Other Common Translated Name) categories on the left column (lavender-blue background); on the corresponding right column will be the lists of official and other possible names.

For example, MadoMagi's Chinese Wikipedia:
http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%AD%...%8F%E5%9 C%93

On the right box:
正式譯名 魔法少女小圓 <-------- official title
常用譯名 魔法少女小圓☆魔力、魔法少女圓香 <------ other common variations of title


Official ASCosing main page:
http://ascos.taobao.com
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