Important Importables: Reliable Japan shopping services

March 11, 2012 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Reliable Japan shopping services

If you want to import games, consoles, accessories and other novelties, there are plenty of ways to get it done online. The first stop for most shoppers is usually a dedicated online import store, like Play-Asia, AmiAmi or Yes Asia. Sometimes, even eBay is your best bet. Very rarely though, those sites just won’t work for you.

People who purchase import games or collectibles know that sometimes even the best and most reliable online shops won’t have the items they’re looking for. That’s when you have to go a step further and use a more specific service. That’s when an online shopping service is the best bet. Time to look through some of the services that are available!

Which companies are ready to help you get your Japanese goodies?

The next four Japanese shopping services are all fairly well known online. If you create a membership with one and use it, you can shop from ordinary stores, take part in auctions and get your hands on other exclusives that might otherwise be hard to find in an online store or import. The services also can acquire ordinary items you can find in regular shops. That way, you could end up doing all your shopping in one place. Remember that you will pay a service fee in addition to the price of the item, to compensate the shopping service for actually, you know, getting the item for you. Also, only order if you’re absolutely sure you want an item, as most reputable shopping services do not allow you to cancel an order or return an item.

  • Goody-Japan: We’ll start with a shopping service I’ve actually used. Goody-Japan allows you to purchase from online shops or auctions. The preferred payment method is to go through PayPal, using either a PayPal account or major credit cards, but International Postal Money Orders and bank transfers are accepted. (Bank transfers have an additional ¥3,000 fee.) The Commission section of the site lists all the service fees. As an example, the lowest fixed auction fee is ¥600 if the item is under ¥3,000 and the lowest fixed shopping fee is ¥750 if the price is under ¥5,000. Other shipping and processing fees still apply.
  • Noppin: This shopping service will buy items from stores or online auctions for you. It accepts PayPal, most major credit cards, monkeybookers and bank wire. You have to handle the taxes and import fees. The service fee is ¥1,000 and 10% of the total order price.
  • Rinkya: This site has been around 10 years and used to focus on auctions, but now is offering to serve as a middleman for buying from stores as well. It accepts PayPal, most major credit cards and PostePay. You need to provide a minimum deposit to participate in auctions. If you’re using Rinkya to buy from a store, there will be ¥800 base fee and ¥100 additional for every ¥1,000. So if an item is ¥2,000, the fees would be ¥1,000.
  • Shopping Mall Japan: This shopping service also will help people buy from online auctions or stores. It also will let you buy from multiple places and have all the items shipped in one big order when it comes in. It is also paired with a search site that will help you look through stores and auctions to find what you want. It accepts PayPal and most major credit cards. Service and processing fees vary, depending on the price of the items you are ordering and having shipped to you.
  • Tenso: While I haven’t personally used Tenso, I have two friends who have and both had good experiences. Tenso will help you shop from online stores that normally only ship to people in Japan and even offers a list of sites that often works with. It accepts Paypal and most major credit cards. Service and shipping fees vary as with all sites, with the price going up depending on the package’s overall weight rather than price. The lowest fee would be ¥490 for a package that weighs under 1.0kg.

The most important thing is that you use a service that makes you feel comfortable. Look through the sites, read all the terms and conditions and don’t be afraid to email in a question before using a service. Also, be sure that you really want what you’re going to order, because there are no take-backs!

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports talks about Arc System Works.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports talked about Love Plus

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