Japan Scam: Domena Eagle Jet Steam Cleaner

Recently, my wife has been interested in getting one of those high powered 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. 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 representing a company called Prest. Complete with Japanese language manuals and training videos, free maintenance and visits to your house by a  “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.

PREST - 400,000 yen steam cleaners

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. 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 the price of a Domena NVT400 in Japan and in the UK 

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, translating the manuals and adding Japanese tutorial videos warrants charging nearly seven times more than its true retail price.

Domena steam cleaner - 61,000 yen

400,000 yen for 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?

Domena UK website

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, reliability 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!

6 thoughts on “Japan Scam: Domena Eagle Jet Steam Cleaner

  1. Pingback: www.japansoc.com
  2. Import taxes in this country are pretty stupid for eletronic devices, but I can’t see taxes, duties and other charges coming even close to 7x the UK price. You’ll see almost the same thing with computers, though. Most notebooks in this country are twice as expensive as the same models you’d find in Canada. Aside from the Japanese keyboard, there is no difference.

    When my wife and I go to Canada next year, we plan on getting some new notebooks and bringing them back. Why pay $2000 for a “new” machine with yester-year’s technology in Japan when you can pay $3000 for two really nice notebooks from Canada with the latest and greatest advances?

    That said, it’s great to see that your wife doesn’t buy into such things so quickly. I have plenty of family that have been duped into buying these “not in stores” products only to find out later the reason they’re not in stores is because nobody would pay such a ridiculous price when an equivalent or superior model is less than a metre away and 7x cheaper 😛

    1. I’ve always avoided notebooks because of the price. I just don’t see why you’d spend 2-3 grand (in Japan) on something only half as powerful as much cheaper desktop. Very few Japanese people actually take their computers with them when they go out anyway!

      1. Wow, I thought laptops were cheaper in Japan than in Canada.. Crazy… but yeah I love my desktop… sure Im in arizona now and am missing the net since i have to go to public places to use it, but i love all the affordability and power my desktop provides..

        The other thing Id like to say about this article is God bless the Internet.. although it makes me mad that inevitably some less internet savy Japanese are going to get screwed on this deal…

        Hey by the way Nick, I’ve seen tonnes of Ron Paul signs on the road here in America! Im serious! Well maybe not tonnes but I have seen like at least 5 signs along the 2500 km trek down here… I have not seen signs for any other candidates… Go Ron Paul!

  3. My sister-in-law got scammed, and paid 400k yen or so for one of those EagleJets.

    That wasn’t the end of it. A couple of years ago she was talked into buying a whopping 1,000,000 yen futon set, and as far as I know she still pays for the installment 😉

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