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Author Topic: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right  (Read 43481 times)

animagic4u

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 01:46:28 am »
I have a question:
there is an item I found on Amazon.jp (I'm browsing in English though) that I want to buy however it is in stock by an independent seller linked through Amazon.
Do you think I have to use a proxy, or will it probably ship internationally?

Cael K.

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2011, 02:17:31 am »
You could try, but I doubt independent sellers ship internationally. If that's the case, the site won't let you checkout until you remove the item from your cart.

I have seen some independent sellers explicitly mention that they will, though, but I'm not sure if you have to do anything extra to tell them.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 02:20:18 am by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

Cael K.

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2011, 07:33:45 am »
Thought I'd give a slight update.

A later conversation with Amakase had us both concluding that the power draw listed in the hardware manuals was the actual rating of the transformer, which is the maximum it can draw. The actual console may draw less, and thus may typically draw less.

Also, San Plaza in Sannomiya (Kobe) has been added - I was informed of the old shopping arcade with an Animate in it.
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

DJStarstryker

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2011, 08:45:56 am »
For the first post, I want to point out that not all Book-offs sell Japanese stuff. In Hawaii, there's 2 Book-offs. Only the one in the Japanese Shirokiya department store in the Ala Moana Mall actually stocks Japanese stuff. (If you ever get to Hawaii, I recommend Shirokiya *anyway*, for the really good Japanese food sold there.) The one in Pearlridge Mall only has US domestic stuff.

For all of the SoCal Book-offs, you can pretty much use this rule of thumb: is the Book-off in an indoor mall or is it standalone in a "strip mall", "shopping center", or whichever is your terminology of choice for that? If it's in an indoor mall, it only sells US domestic stuff. If it's in a shopping center, it has Japanese stuff.

Also, as something else of reference...  don't underestimate Akihabara, thinking that it only sells electronics. That's far from the case. Akihabara has lots of great used shops that sell all sorts of things from video games, figures, CDs, manga, and more. These stores are typically multiple floors and can take a while to look through just one of them. If you go to Japan and want to look for deals and are in the Tokyo area, I seriously recommend an entire day for Akihabara alone. If you only give it a few hours, you won't see much and will miss all of the good stuff. An upside too is that many stores in Akihabara will actually take credit cards too!  :)

Nakano Broadway has lots of good stuff too. Their deals aren't as good as other places in Japan (in fact, you will pay a premium on some things), but they do have more rare of stuff that is harder to find elsewhere. I will also warn that it's very easy to miss it despite it being so large. Make sure you get yourself a map or something from the internet to help you look for it.
GIZA!

Cael K.

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2012, 11:47:54 pm »
Got some stuff from White Canvas, looks like they're good for international orders, but the process is a little different than normal.

You first have to e-mail them with the item number (according to their catalog), or a link to the item in their online shop, along with your mailing address. They should reply back... first saying to wait a few days, and later
with a PayPay invoice (that is due a two days after they issue it). I also mentioned that I wanted to use EMS, not sure if they'll automatically use that if you don't specify. When you e-mail them anything though, even a question, they'll usually give you a small response the same day saying to wait a while for them to actually answer your question/get to your order. They probably only have one guy there who can understand English to any extent, and while he might not be fluent, you'll understand him and he'll understand you.

However, I will say that in both of my dealings with them, there's usually been a minor slip-up somewhere. They'll still get your stuff to you just fine (in both cases for me, at least), but the first time they sent me the wrong tracking number. The second (most recent), I sent my order to them, and after not hearing back from them for a while, I e-mailed them back asking what happened. They were on it immediately after that (and it was actually mailed that day), but I think they might be a little disorganized there. Your stuff will still get to you, though.

Also to note, in both my dealings with them, they've usually thrown in something extra. This time I got a few postcards, two Touhou ones and two Higanbana ones. Last time... before they had Paypal, they actually packed in a whole bunch of goodies (I think I got a bunch of Touhou cards and more than one doujin music CD)... but this was probably because since I mailed them a money order, I overpayed worrying about fluctuating exchange rates. Don't think they'll do that anymore, but eh. Since this is Paypal, though, the exchange rate tends to be close to real exchange rates (I think they converted 82 yen to the dollar at the time when the actual rate was just shy of 83), if I'm remembering my invoice correctly, but then the service fee for using Paypal (4%) is passed on to you. Guess it comes out even.

Here's their information page, read the bottom for international shipping procedures and their overseas order e-mail.
http://www.w-canvas.com/user_data/information.php

As always, your experience may differ from mine.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 12:07:53 am by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

Daverost

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2012, 03:27:02 am »
Just wanted to share my experience with JShoppers, since I had heard good things here but not-so-great things at some other places around the net.

They certainly hold up their end of the bargain on price. There's no base fee and you get your 5% discount on EMS.

And they're very quick. When they got the package, they sent out an email the next day. I paid same day and the next day they had accepted the payment and shipped the item. They told me it would be 2-4 days and I had it on the second day.

The item was shipped in the original packaging (resealed, since they have to verify they're not shipping something they shouldn't be) and the item was still in excellent condition.

The only snag was between the item leaving the original seller and getting to them: http://i.imgur.com/n7R3L.jpg
As you can see, there were quite a few failed delivery attempts.

Anyway, overall very satisfied. Saved a huge amount of money by buying cheap and using an incredibly cheap and highly efficient forwarding service, and they'll certainly see my business again should the need arise.

Bro

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2012, 06:58:59 am »
This might seem like an obvious question, but this is my first time ordering internationally (Always avoided it) and I'd like some help with some... hopefully simple questions.

When ordering from a Japanese site like amazon.jp, is there any way to set it to English?
In the same case, would I need a proxy?

If I pay with a credit card, must it be a Japanese credit card?
Could I use paypal instead?

Is it worth it, with shipping costs and all, just to buy some IM@S swag?
HIBIKI PRIDE 2013

[4:15:39 PM] MooMoo: i think nonowa's cute tho
[4:15:59 PM] MooMoo: i bet if she was real she'd feel like a ballon full of warm water

animagic4u

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2012, 07:01:13 am »
My first instinct is to always go to Japanese dealers that are already English and use paypal and will ship international.
Vendors like Mandarake, AmiAmi, and Hobby Search. ^^

I wish you well in your hunting.
Check out the iDOLM@STER anime merchandise thread I started for some merchandise links. ;) You can find it under "Derived products, CD albums & anime"

Cael K.

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2012, 07:46:35 am »
This might seem like an obvious question, but this is my first time ordering internationally (Always avoided it) and I'd like some help with some... hopefully simple questions.

When ordering from a Japanese site like amazon.jp, is there any way to set it to English?
In the same case, would I need a proxy?

If I pay with a credit card, must it be a Japanese credit card?
Could I use paypal instead?

Is it worth it, with shipping costs and all, just to buy some IM@S swag?

amazon.co.jp's English capabilities are sorely lacking, if I remember correctly. It really depends on the site, if there's an English page, but many times it's not nearly as good or informative as the Japanese page. If you're really lost, take animagic's suggestion.

Many places will accept foreign credit cards, but your credit card company may charge you a fee for a foreign currency transaction (usually a percentage). Paypal... is only available if that particular seller accepts it, and you may be charged a Paypal fee (around 4% in my case) for the transaction. Unless the vendor states in no uncertain terms that they will ship overseas, I'd assume that all shipping is domestic, and you would need a forwarding service.

As for is it worth it? OFF COURSE THIS'S THE WAY LOLIAMDARAVON

Seriously though, it gets more worth it the more you buy in terms of price, and starts to inflate back out the more the stuff weighs. For example, buying one CD or something might cost you $20 in shipping, but buying five CDs, two T-shirts, a limited edition box, and a figure might get you... say $50 in shipping. When using a deputy service, they can charge some fee per item on top of shipping as well. It's really up to you in the end how much it's worth it, but it's usually better to buy a lot of things at once to cut down on shipping costs.

Heavy items, though... they cost to ship. Manga, I would recommend getting within your own country if possible since paper is heavy. I'm pretty sure that in the States, buying from Kinokuniya is, at worst, about as expensive as buying from Japan and getting it shipped.

Just wanted to share my experience with JShoppers, since I had heard good things here but not-so-great things at some other places around the net.

Not so great things? Should I ask?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 07:49:53 am by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

Daverost

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2012, 07:04:22 pm »
This might seem like an obvious question, but this is my first time ordering internationally (Always avoided it) and I'd like some help with some... hopefully simple questions.

When ordering from a Japanese site like amazon.jp, is there any way to set it to English?
In the same case, would I need a proxy?

If I pay with a credit card, must it be a Japanese credit card?
Could I use paypal instead?

Is it worth it, with shipping costs and all, just to buy some IM@S swag?

A lot of these were already answered, but I'll answer again anyway.
- Some sites can be set to English. On Amazon.co.jp, look for a link around the top right of the page that says something about viewing in English. It mostly just sets the standard Amazon browsing buttons and links to English (though still not all of them). Items and descriptions are pretty much always in Japanese.
- If you order from anyone that doesn't ship internationally (and that can even vary within the site by what you're buying, since Amazon will ship books internationally but not software/games), you will need a proxy. It's generally easier to just hit up an import site. Play-Asia and AmiAmi are my favorites for games, personally. Play-Asia in particular has very cheap shipping. Unfortunately, they don't really go down on price much.
- Most sites will accept any card. I don't think I've ever had a conversion fee on a purchase from a Visa, either, though that may just be my particular card. Paypal is usable on a lot of them, but not all of them.
- Whether it's worth it or not depends entirely on you. Japanese games are expensive. Figures are expensive. Books... are generally not expensive, but as mentioned, shipping can be. Shipping can be really expensive no matter what. Some places have cheap shipping (Play-Asia, YesAsia, etc.) and some places force more expensive options on you (AmiAmi, certain forwarding services). It depends on what you're buying, how much you're spending, and whether or not you're comfortable with it. Personally, I've always found importing games to be worth it. I've bought thirteen import games over the years and I don't regret a single one of them. Just knowing that there's not really another option makes it a much easier pill to swallow.

As for is it worth it? OFF COURSE THIS'S THE WAY LOLIAMDARAVON

Lol'd here. Thank you for that.

Quote
I'm pretty sure that in the States, buying from Kinokuniya is, at worst, about as expensive as buying from Japan and getting it shipped.

As long as it's shipping from their stateside stores, it's cheap. They use UPS and shipping runs like $6-8 depending on how much you're buying. One book for me one time was $6, four or five books two other times was $8. Never ordered more than that at once from them.

Quote
Not so great things? Should I ask?

It was mostly just some stuff I had read here. Mainly about how people weren't sure they could be trusted and about how they had randomly taken the forwarding service offline for a short time. Stupid stuff, in retrospect.

TaKai

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2012, 02:45:54 pm »
I've visited and bought from both Book-Offs and Image Anime in New York City, NY. Here are my comments/notes.

Book-Offs (49 W 45th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue; right next to a Starbucks too)
  • Massive selection of media including books, magazines, music, video games, visual novels, movies, and TV shows
  • Sales daily including a large selection of books just for $1 US
  • Many educational books at very cheap prices (Including SAT, SAT II, ACT, and College-material at around $7-8)
  • Fast-Selling books; move quickly if a book you're looking for is cheap because it might not be there tomorrow
  • Wide selection of video games, consoles, and accessories at reasonable-to-good prices
  • Wide variety of manga (Most may not be English-translated)
  • Various imported Visual Novels (Didn't check if they were English-translated)
  • Large selection of music CDs and movies ranging from Kpop to Hong Kong action flicks (Blu-Ray movies also available)
  • Anime DVDs are available; wide selection
  • Will buy books, CDs, DVDs, and games that are in reasonable conditions (See here)
  • Exemplary customer service; very warm and welcoming as well

Image Anime (242 W 30th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue)
  • Massive selection of japanese-imported products
  • Large selection and variety of import figures from various manufacturers
    • Some, if not most may be more pricey than an identical figure found online+shipping
  • Large selection of Anime DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs
  • Large variety of Character Charms and Accessories from wallets to keychains
  • Plush toys all over the place
  • Dedicated model kits section towards the rear of the store with a massive selection ranging from Military to Gundam
  • Small selection of cosplay items available
  • Character bags are also up for sale as is wall scrolls and room decor
  • Yes, there are Dakimakuras available for purchase; covers vary depending on inventory
  • Kyubey wall scrolls. KYUBEY WALL SCROLLS EVERYWHERE (There was an entire basket of the things; was very tempting)
  • Many other eccentric anime fans to meet
  • Good customer service...
    • ...Somewhat...
    • First walked in when a kid tried stealing something. One clerk had yelled at the kid and threatened to report him to the police. Wasn't very nice to other customers thereafter. Shaped up after a short while.
    • There is some testimony among other shoppers that one of the employees not only gives an unwelcoming vibe but also favors female customers over male customers; not something I really care about so long as I make a quick purchase.
    • Very little problems with customer service...for now
  • Availability of items limited and may sell out depending on popularity
Those are my opinions on these two locations in New York City.

Bro

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2012, 10:05:46 am »
Alright, so I've finally comitted to pre-ordering Star Festa. Problem is, I want to ship once and only once, and that's putting a lot of pressure on me to decide on what other iM@S merch I wanna buy! Aside from the endless and endlessly stupid questions I'll dump, can we also discuss what's a good thing to buy? Or would it be better to make a new thread for that? I just need some second opinions on how much is enough and what I really want.
HIBIKI PRIDE 2013

[4:15:39 PM] MooMoo: i think nonowa's cute tho
[4:15:59 PM] MooMoo: i bet if she was real she'd feel like a ballon full of warm water

Cael K.

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2012, 11:20:19 am »
Well, I intended to use this thread just for the problems associated with the act of buying internationally (i.e. where can I find X store and can I trust them, or how can I get Y device from Japan to here and still be able to use it?) as opposed to discussing shopping lists and stuff. At the very least, I use this thread for reference from time to time, and I know posts about discussing stuff people want will add some clutter I'll have to sift through. If it's just something like figuring out what to put on your to-buy list (i.e. "What do people think of this figure, is it worth it?), personal vote from my end is for a new thread for that.

If you end up doing that in a separate thread, and there's something to be learned there, I'll probably slap it in one of the top posts here when I get around to it as well. ^^
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 11:29:02 am by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

Bro

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2012, 11:22:27 pm »
I got sidetracked. Low on funds. No iM@S merch for me. Yet.

http://www.bandainamcogames.co.jp/cs/list/idolmaster/festa/spec/shop.php
But I'm still on track to get the game. Thing is, seeing as I have no favorite ordering site or anything like that, I'm completely unalligned! It all depends on these pre-order bonuses. Don't suppose anyone here would be willing to translate some of these before I end up getting a free iM@S bikini with my order?
HIBIKI PRIDE 2013

[4:15:39 PM] MooMoo: i think nonowa's cute tho
[4:15:59 PM] MooMoo: i bet if she was real she'd feel like a ballon full of warm water

animagic4u

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Re: Buying stuff from Japan and having it work right
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2012, 11:52:39 pm »
I got sidetracked. Low on funds. No iM@S merch for me. Yet.

http://www.bandainamcogames.co.jp/cs/list/idolmaster/festa/spec/shop.php
But I'm still on track to get the game. Thing is, seeing as I have no favorite ordering site or anything like that, I'm completely unalligned! It all depends on these pre-order bonuses. Don't suppose anyone here would be willing to translate some of these before I end up getting a free iM@S bikini with my order?

I can translate them if I have a few down minutes. And if someone was actually giving away a bikini I would love that.