|UserSoundoffs 11News Articles 2Band Edits + Tags 9Album Edits 37Album Ratings 422Objectivity 64%Last Active 06-30-16 5:56 amJoined 12-21-13Forum Posts 3Review Comments 5,099
|A Guide to Buying Japanese Music Overseas|
Since summer sucks and Brexit has meant that the currency I use is less valuable now for imports, I thought I'd be productive and help people who are interested in buying Japanese Imports by listing the best sites to use for it. With a combination of needing to use multiple sources (some which aren't easy to find), customs taxes and other general things a list like this can save you a lot of money in the long run and makes things easier. Note that I live in the UK so all of these experiences are based upon UK Customs/Shipping availability and law. Also note that unless mentioned, the sites have English customer support, hope this helps whoever reads it. Also list is cool shit you should buy with these sites (i.e. I'm a fucking weeb) and a big thanks to crossparallel for helping me with this convoluted pain of comparing proxy sites and having first hand experience with suruga-ya since I never had to use it.
Art of Life
THE GOLDEN RULE: Before listing a bunch of sites I'll list the most importing thing to know first, which is for the love of God do not use FedEx/EMS for your orders unless you absolutely have to use it. This is because despite it being incredibly fast, insured and fully tracked it's very expensive and you will get taxed using it regardless of site. Also check whether postage methods are available in your country since different sites will have different shipping options not available for certain countries. You'll save your time whether to use the site and to calculate shipping. Now let's start listing sites to use:
TOUR2014 Arui wa Anarchy -Final-
CD Japan: Best site for upcoming releases and in stock items
Pros: - This is the best site for new stuff/stuff to pre-order, because of not only the amount of stuff that will be on pre-order with solid amount of stock but can have website exclusive pre order bonuses like a poster.
- For regular editions they can be years old and still in stock. They will always sell the retail price and never change it, so it can be useful for albums which are expensive in other places but available for normal price here.
- You gain points for every order, so if you use the site commonly you can save a bit of money with later orders.
- Website and customer service entirely in English, so overall if you can get anything from the site this is the best place to get it.
Cons: - If a limited edition is 2 years old chances are it's out of stock, so if you want limited editions and rare items get it near the release date or ideally ASAP.
|3||Dir En Grey|
Dum Spiro Spero At Nippon Budokan
YesAsia: An alternative to CD Japan if needed with some aspects to make it stand out
Pros: - Free shipping option which is avoids tax, so despite of having higher than usual prices than CD Japan you can still save money overall using this
- Has some great deals/offers on holidays and other occasions, worth checking.
- 2nd best site for new releases, their stock usually lasts longer than CD Japan since most order pre order from there.
Cons: - Their pre orders sometimes don't have the bonus like CD Japan.
- Same con as CD Japan, rare stuff won't be here most likely.
Cowboy Bebop Boxed Set
Discogs: Pretty much the go to place for music collectors in general
Pros: - Got some amazing deals on any type of item, mainly good for finding rare albums which aren't luxury limited editions.
- Can personally message sellers for exact conditions on items, so the personal touch with sellers is nice and they care about quality due to the standards set by the site. These 2 positives alone make this a very valuable source.
Cons: - Prices are usually either great or overpriced to pure ass. People like to overprice mainly on expensive Limited Editions or Fan Club stuff.
Japan Discoveries: The treasure trove of Japanese music shopping without using proxy services
Pros: - Without a doubt the best selection of any site along with using proxy services, this alone makes it worth a gander.
- Some awesome sales which are much more numerous than the other sites listed.
- 1000 yen free for every 10000+ yen order
Cons: - SAL and Airmail isn't insured, which is horseshit.
- Dispach is rather slow if this matters to you (around 3-5 days).
- This is something which I can't say for certain yet unless I order a low value item, but I believe that everything you order here will get taxed which is a big con. I had 2 £63-80 items taxed from here from both, and I have not been taxed before from CD Japan with a similar price and used the same shipping method. If a smaller item from there gets taxed too I'll update if my theory is correct.
eBay: An alternative to Discogs, better for expensive items for the most part in terms of Japanese Music
Pros: - It's essentially all of Discogs positives however while Discogs is very good for harder to find regular press albums, eBay is better at Limited Editions and other music related items
Cons: - Can be overpriced on a lot of items.
Symphony of the Vampire
Remambo/Buyee/FromJapan: Proxy services that allow you to bid on Yahoo Auctions, the site for out of print and rare items. A hardcore fan's paradise.
Description: For which one of these is the best I'll leave that to a separate section below, pros and cons will be for proxy services in general. For anyone who doesn't know what these entail, what these do is instead of direct shipment to your address, you use this service to translate Japanese bidding sites/marketplaces (Mainly Yahoo auction is the site which will be used with this) to either bid or buy. Then it gets delivered to a separate address for extra fee which then sent to your address, so much different to the other sites listed. Reason why these are available is because places like Yahoo Auction can only be used by people who have Japanese addresses, so these are useful middle men who you have to use if you want to get to items you never could before. Also you can use this for any Japanese website in general to get items from.
Pros: - Can get some insane deals here, especially with rare items.
- The best possible selection of items, almost everything you should want is here and multiple items together for a good deal.
- Can apply this to other sites, any Japanese site you can the site to buy it for you and you pay them if this is needed.
Cons: - Commission fee, consumption fees, package consolation fee (i.e. Fee for having multiple orders together to put in one box) and having you have to pay for inland shipping to the warehouses where they keep the item until you say to ship to your house all needs to be considered. So this is mainly for more expensive items or items impossible to get anywhere else. Note inland shipping depends on seller to seller, so read description for inland shipping on auctions however generally it's 700-1200 yen.
- Oddly the search bar for these is a bit dodgy (at least on Remambo), so you may have to use general terms and search a bit to find a good deal sometimes.
Comparison: Now in my personal opinion it is just much easier to use one of these sites and the winner here is Remambo. This is because I've used them before so I have personal experience with the site and can say you'll have no taxes, easy layout and terms compared to the other 2 sites to understand and a good English support team. Plus you'll mainly be using this site for rarer items anyway which are usually more expensive, and for those this site can save you more money. Regardless I'll make the list for you and give their terms:
- Remambo: Commission fee of 500 yen per order/bid, consolation fee is 500 yen. Generally best out the 3 to save money for bids over 5000 yen, orders from Amazon/Rakuten over 5000 yen and other sites over 9000 yen.
- Buyee: 5% commission fee, 500 yen for consolidation of 2 packages, 1000 yen for consolidation of 3 or more packages. Plus they have a plan to check items that come in and insure you if they're damages for 500 yen if you want it.
It's best for bids under around 5000 yen, orders from Amazon/Rakuten under 5000 yen and other sites under 9000 yen. With its fees you don't want to consolidate packages with them and you should accept the risk of no refund if things go to hell.
- FromJapan: 200 commission fee + 5％ system usage fee, package consolidation is free. So this is best for combining a bunch of not very expensive auctions, shopping from multiple stores or combining stores and auctions.
Finally done with these :D
I Am Mortal
Amazon UK or US: Sometimes the easiest way to get an item you need.
Pros: - A few nice prices here and there for alot of things
- Local delivery for most people reading (i.e. UK or US users) which also means local support,
Cons: - Some of the prices are wtf, not the best selection at all.
Amazon.jp: Home to many items old and new, rare or common. Worth checking if other sites are not giving you what you need.
Pros: - Awesome selection, of old and new with reasonable prices for the most part
Cons: - Only EMS shipping, so get taxed bitch. However you can use a Proxy site mentioned about to get around this, however then you'd still with fees.
suruga-ya: The weirdest site here, really situational but can get you some items you need.
Pros: - Some really cheap items here and good selection as well.
Cons: - You'll need to use a Proxy to order from here
- You can't see the condition of the items that you're buying, picture nor description. They're mainly used in great condition however this is a big con which makes this a last resort for items which you can't find or you have an insane deal on your hands which is worth taking the risk.
- Extremely confusing system for non-Japanese readers. Now it lists how much an item is, OR it lists how much they'll give you for selling the item to them (i.e. you can't buy it). The layout changes depends which one you can do for the listed item.
For example, this you can purchase: http://www.suruga-ya.jp/product/detail/220063144001
This you can not purchase: http://www.suruga-ya.jp/kaitori_detail/120010364
Dodax: Use for stuff with European pressing only
Pros: Great shipping price and overall prices for European pressed items
Cons: Useful for little else for Japanese Music
Nega to Poji
Otaku.com: Clusterfuck of a site, basically a situational mystery box.
Pro and con: The random jack of all trades site. Selection and prices are clusterfuck but can find something good. Note I have no personal experience with this site so I can't say whether you'll get taxed.
|Glad this is finally done, took ages. If you got any questions just ask away :]|
|Very helpful list. I like how the YesAsia part has literally the only recent Diru concert they don't have in stock xD.|
|@Evo: I didn't even notice that lol|
|Well if you wanna prod the mods in meds thread for that to happen that would be nice, thank you for thinking it's good enough for a feature :3|
|I did not get taxed for cheaper items from Japan Discoveries.|
|I don't really listen to Japanese music nor do I import CDs/vinyl (I'm sure you already know this haha ;)), regardless I'm sure this list will come in handy to anyone who imports Japanese music. |
|wow amazing list|
|@Evo: Okay so either your country doesn't and mine does or it actually follows the rules of if it's around £32 then it will be taxed regardless. Weird af.|
@Sitru: With the prices of your shipping that would be insane so fuck that lol. Thanks.
@Key: Hi Key :D
|Wow this is quite the comprehensive list, are there any websites worth looking at for digital copies?|
|Maybe i can finally pick up some Coaltar of the Deepers stuff in the future|
|@CL0VER: iTunes, Amazon.jp (haven't personally tries doing digital from here but since I ordered Physical from there once I don't see why that wouldn't work) and OTOTOY are your best bets to support artists by buying digital copies.|
|This should probably just get featured the fuck out of already. Excellent, excellent list dude :3|
|Thanks Aaron ^_^|
|Wow, you made the list! By the way, just recently learned remambo has an affiliate program (they don't exactly advertise it), so anyone who decides to use the site and wants to thank Cal may ask for his affiliate link before registering, so he may get a percentage of their fee (20% if I remember).|
|Another plus for Remambo, and thanks Rada.|
Here's my affiliate link: https://www.remambo.jp/?auc7995
How it works: "When somebody clicks on it and registers it will appear in your affiliate Statistics. You will receive 20% of our profits from every customer who has come from you." So if you click and register I get posi vibes, happy days.
|This is an amazing and useful list, Calculating. Thanks.|
|No probs, hope it helps.|
|Yeah. I have a few things I wanna get my hands on. Like Arche, and Kisou by Dir En Grey, and Metaphorical music by Nujabes.|
actually dude i think my prices for importing CDs from japan is better than yours haha
|We had this discussion, this is not the case :P|
|Check Toru Takemitsu|
|you're a hero|
bookmark and forget (hopefully not tho)
|Glad you dig Flug.|
|good post tbh, maybe I'll go listen to art of life later and plan a big order at the same time|
|This is seriously a cool fucking list.|
|If it's the live version that is a wise choice ;)|
I'm blessed by valk approval.
|Thanks Snide :3|
|Imma have to check shiina ringo|
|Let that sweet Shiina wail ring in your ears.|
|Shiina is an enrichment for any playlist|
awesome list, I'll keep it as a bookmark, just in case!
|I needed this|
|Thanks Rik :]|
You are a hero CalculatingInfinity :D
|Just spreading the love, it's not like I'd be useful for anything else ;)|
|rule 1: buy intestine baalism's records if you find them|
rule 2: don't not buy intestine baalism's records if you find them