Recently, my wife has been interested in getting one of those high poweredÂ steam cleaners. It all started when she saw an ad for a “sample cleaning” whereby someone comes to your house and demonstrates the power of their product by cleaning your kitchen and bathroom for just 1,000 yen ($10). In this case, the product was the Domena NVT Eagle Jet 2 vacuum steam cleaner.
How much does an Eagle Jet steam cleaner cost?
The cleaning “sample” was top notch. So good in fact, that Mami was drooling at the prospect of owning one of these steam cleaners and finishing the work they started.Â Half way through the sales speech, it became apparent that this was no ordinary steam cleaner. The French-made Domena NVT Eagle Jet 2 was the best steam cleaner for domestic use that money could buy.
Unavailable in the shops, you could only get your hands on it through a salesman representingÂ a company called Prest.Â Complete with Japanese language manuals and training videos, free maintenance and visitsÂ to your house by a Â “steam cleaning coach”, it was a true bargain for such an established brand product. Not good enough for my wife, though. At a whopping 400,000 yen, she told the guy to leave.
Turning to the auctions for an Eagle Jet steam cleaner
Not wanting to give up on getting the housewife’s equivalent of a Ferrari, Mami turned to Yahoo Japan Auctions and found the Domena Eagle Jet to be incredibly popular. Of all the steam cleaners up for auction, the Eagle Jet was the most wanted, fetching upwards of 60,000 per item.Â Mami joined in, bidding up to 55,000 before admitting defeat and adding other Eagle Jet auctions to her watch list so she could try again later.
Interestingly, while looking through the auctions, we realized that there were different models of Domena steam cleaner, and the brand, Eagle Jet, didn’t seem to have any significance at all. Most of them were either a Domena NVT300 or NVT400.
Comparing theÂ price of a Domena NVT400 in Japan and in the UKÂ
A quick search on the English internet turned up a few websites of stores and businesses selling the Domena steam cleaner at a price that shocked me into writing this blog post. UKsewing.com has it listed for 270 pounds which is approximately 60,000 yen. That’s just 15% of what the same item costs in Japan! You can’t tell me that importing it, translatingÂ the manuals and addingÂ Japanese tutorial videos warrants charging nearly seven times more than itsÂ true retail price.
400,000 yen forÂ a Domena Eagle Jet NVT400 steam cleaner is a scam
There’s no doubt about it. The official Domena UK website has their latest model, the NVT400T, listed at 299 pounds or 68,000 yen, and the Domena France website lists the CS 6 model at 450 euros or 74,000 yen. How can Prest justify the 400,000 yen price tag?
Quite clearly, this is a case of selling a “brand”. The Japanese love brand goods, and a high price tag is a sign of quality, reliabilityÂ and above all, image. In this case, however, they are just getting ripped off and that makes me somewhat angry. Hopefully I can encourage my wife to write about this herself in Japanese. Maybe we can save a few people from wasting a few hundred thousand yen.If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!