Muji is a long-serving store that sells virtually everything, from household goods to office supplies, and from apparel to tasty food. Muji says it was founded with an eye to creating simple, low-cost, good quality products.
The question is whether Muji has lived up to this. Is Muji a legit store with good quality products that are priced fairly? This Muji Review will put the variety store under the microscope in order to answer this question.
What is Muji?
Muji is a variety store founded in Japan in 1980. The founders explain that a store like Muji became necessary to bring a balance to “high-priced, luxury branded goods” and “low-priced poor-quality goods”. That is, Muji was set up to offer goods with the high-quality of the former, but at the low-prices of the latter.
Coming to existence long before the internet, Muji offered its products to customers in brick-and-mortar stores. Today, there are more than 1,000 MUJI stores around the world, carrying more than 7,000 items which include clothing, household goods, and even food.
Muji has joined the online bandwagon. It has online stores where you can place orders, and have them delivered to your home. Muji has dedicated online stores for different markets (for example, there’s www.muji.us for the US market, and there’s www.muji.eu for the UK market).
What products do Muji sell?
As a variety store, Muji sells virtually everything. You’ll find tasty and healthy foods, comfortable clothing, household goods that are easy to use, and more.
The main menu in the Muji online store for the US market (www.muji.us) features the following product categories: Apparel, Health and Beauty, Stationery, Furniture, Home, and Travel. Each category carries a range of products as follows:
|Apparel||Men (Tops, Bottoms, Outerwear, Innerwear, Loungewear)|
Women (Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear, Innerwear, Loungewear)
Unisex Accessories (Gloves, Hats, Leggings, Raincoats & Umbrellas, Belts, Socks)
Shoes & Sandals Bags (Rucksacks & Backpacks, Boston Bags, Tote Bags, Wallet/ Card Holder, Other Bags)
Pen & Pencils
Office Supplies (Pen Cases, Card Holders, Polypropylene File Boxes, Folders & Binders, Desk Accessories)
|Furniture||Bedroom (Mattresses, Storage Bed, Mattresses & Legs)|
Sofas & Chairs (Body Fit Cushion, Bench & Others)
|Home||Bedding (Pillow Cases, Duvet Covers, Fitted Sheets, Pillows, Blankets, Duvet & Comforters)|
Home Accessories (Rugs & Mats, Cushions & Cushion Covers, Slippers, Hooks & Hangers)
Bathroom (Bathroom Accessories, Bathmats, Shower Goods, Towels)
Cleaning (Cleaning System, Laundry, Housekeeping, Dust Bins)
Dining (Chopsticks, Kitchen Appliances, Jars & Containers, Dishware, Cutlery, Cutting Boards, Lunch Boxes & Tumblers, Kitchen Organizers, Tray & Pot Trivet, Seasonal Dinnerware, Other Goods, Food)
Electronics & Clocks (Electronic Devices, Clocks, USB Desk Fan)
Storage & Organizers (Acrylic Storages, Cotton Linen Polyester Soft Boxes, Rattan Storages, Polypropylene File Boxes and Storage Drawers, Soft Polyethylene Storage Polypropylene Makeup Boxes)
Garment Organization Case
Passport & Safety Cases
Small Travel Container & Cases
Neck Cushions Travel Accessories
|Health & Beauty||Aroma & Fragrances (Aroma Diffuser & Aroma Pot, Essential Oils, Candles, Interior Fragrance)|
Skincare (Sensitive Skincare Series, Aging Skincare Series, Clearing Care Series, Cleansing Oil & Soap, Herbal Skincare Series, Mild Skincare Series, Body Soap & Milk)
Hair (Hair Brush, Shampoo & Conditioner, Hair Accessories)
Makeup (Makeup Storage Boxes, Makeup Brushes, Makeup Accessories, Cut Cotton & Cotton Buds, Mirrors, Makeup Pouches)
Quality of Muji Products
Muji promises high-quality products but without the premium price tags that usually come with these. To achieve this, Muji says it pays close attention to material selection, the inspection process and simplification of packaging. For example, Muji searches worldwide for the most suitable raw materials; and while searching, the overriding selection process is always quality.
Interestingly, Muji is known for not only promising high-quality products, but for actually providing high-quality products. Customer reviews of the variety store show that, on the whole, Muji customers are satisfied with the quality of Muji products purchased.
For example: in Trustpilot, you’ll find customers raving that: “their item is exactly as ordered, and with the quality expected”, “their items are in perfect condition and packaged really well”, “the product is fabulous”, and more.
To live up to its promise of providing affordable quality, Muji explains that it does a lot, including acquiring items in bulk at low cost. Interestingly, Muji is also known for actually providing low-priced premium products.
Ordering from Muji Online Store
Even if you are new to online shopping, ordering from the Muji online store will not be a problem. You simply browse through the product categories to find what you want. Alternatively, you can use the Search field to call up what you want. If you like what you want after viewing, you may add it to basket/ cart, and proceed to checkout.
When visiting the URL www.muji.com, you’ll be advised to select your country from a list that include: UK, Italy, France, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Kuwait, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Bahrain, Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait, Australia, and Qatar.
Choosing your country is important because different Muji online stores serve different markets. For example, Muji US can only ship to US addresses, while MUJI UK can only ship orders to certain addresses within Great Britain and anywhere with a postcode in the UK (such as Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Scottish Isles).
In the same vein, shipping costs depends on which Muji online store you visit. However, Muji uses an incremental shipping rate instead of a flat shipping rate, which means that your shipping costs will increase as your order amount increases.
For example: Muji US offers Standard Shipping (which takes 7 – 10 business days) and Express Shipping (which takes 3 – 5 business days) options. These have rates as follows:
|Shipping Options||Order Amount||Shipping Cost|
|Standard Shipping||Up to $39.99|
$40 – $99.99
$100 and more
|Express Shipping||Up to $39.99|
$40 – $99.99
$100 and more
The shipping rates for Muji US are relatively high. For example, paying $15 to ship (standard shipping) a Muji dress to a US location is high, compared to what you’ll find in specialty apparel online stores. Thankfully, US online shoppers can get free shipping (Standard) from Muji. However, the minimum order requirement is $100 which is somewhat high.
Also, Muji UK ships orders within 13 days, and the shipping costs also depends on total order amounts as follows:
|Order Amount||Shipping Cost|
|Up to £24.99||£2.95|
|£25 – £99.99||£4.95|
|£100 – £199.99||£9.95|
|£200 – £299.99||£19.95|
|£300 – £499.99||£29.95|
|£500 – £999.99||£39.95|
|£1000 and more||Displayed at checkout|
Whatever Muji online store you order from, know that Muji takes about 15 working days to dispatch items. Adding this processing time to the advertised shipping time, it’s easy to see that Muji’s delivery time is not very fast.
Muji Return and Refunds
Muji accepts returns. You can return an item to Muji provided you inform the company within 30 days of receiving the item, and provided that the item is in a fully resalable condition.
Muji allows “Return in store” and Online returns. The “Return in store” option allow you to return an item purchased online to a Muji brick-and-mortar store. Online returns involve mailing the item to Muji return centre. To make online returns easy, Muji even provides prepaid return label. After contacting Muji and gaining approval to return an item, you simply print and attach the label to the return package and post it, without worrying of shipping cost.
However, except the reason for return is that the item is defective, damaged, or incorrect, the customer is responsible for return shipping cost when returning items to Muji. Where the Muji prepaid label is used, the cost is deducted from the refunded.
All refunds are processed into the original payment method. Muji advertises that after the return package is received it will take 5 – 7 business days for the refund to reflect on the bank statement. However, customer reviews suggest it takes longer than that.
Can you contact Muji?
Muji has a customer support service that you can reach via telephone or email. Whatever question or concern you have relating to Muji, resolution begins with just an email or call away.
For Muji US, the number to call is: +1 (877) 414-9402. The call service is available only between 8am – 5pm (EST), Monday – Sunday. For the email service, you can send an email anytime to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As mentioned earlier, Muji customers generally agree that the company’s products are fine, or even above fine. They also agree that prices are fine for the quality on offer. However, there seem to be a good number of Muji customers that are less than happy with using the variety store. This is the case because there are many complaints about Muji found in customers review platforms.
For example, from 174 customer reviews posted in Trustpilot, which is one of the most popular customers’ reviews platforms, Muji has an average rating of 2.2/ 5. Only 18% of customers gave Muji a rating of “excellent”, while 64% of customers gave Muji a rating of “bad”. The most damning complaints were about the online store, which included:
Slow and Unresponsive website
A number of customers were not happy with the performance of the Muji website saying it is slow and unresponsive. In our experience with the Muji online stores, the US website was also not very smooth, as it broke down a number of times, but the UK website was pretty smooth.
Cancelling of Orders
Another prominent complaint is that after placing orders in the online store, the order is cancelled without any explanation. Too many of such complaints were posted. Other complaints had it that sometimes Muji will wait for days (up to 10 days) before informing the customer that the item is out of stock
Poor In-Store Pick up Service
Muji offers the instore pick up, which allows customers to buy something online, and have it shipped to a nearby Muji store for pick up. The complaints have it that, many times, customers who go for the “In-store Pick up” option are told days after placing the order that the item is out-of-stock in the particular store.
In our opinion, basing the “In-store pick up” service on what is available in the particular brick-and-mortar store makes the service meaningless.
Our Thoughts of Muji
Muji is definitely a legit variety store. Its physical presence of about 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores in different parts of the world can speak for it. Muji also provides a number of online stores that have been fulfilling the orders of customers from different markets.
Muji lives up to its promise of offering premium quality products at low prices. Whether you are buying clothing, household items, or snacks, you are sure of getting high-quality items which are reasonably priced.
Muji Pros and Cons
- Operates different online stores for bespoke service to different markets
- Have high-quality offerings
- The premium offerings of Muji are priced relatively low
- Free shipping is available for US shoppers
- Product exchanges and returns are accepted
- Provides Return labels to facilitate easy returns
- Provides both email and telephone support
- Too many complaints of online orders cancelled for items being “out-of-stock”
- Delivery time is not very fast because of a relatively long order processing time
- Shipping costs are relatively high, and increases as order total increase