Page 2 of 2

Re: Buying items from Japan

Posted: 11 Jul 2016, 16:23
by Porcupine
Took a quick look and White Rabbit seems competitive.

Buyee has just now dropped their fees dramatically, so I think they may be the best again, for some orders. Their whole website and fee structure has been revamped. They now claim their service fee is roughly 5% or free, lower than it's ever been. Once again they have multiple hidden fees, but it's not the same ones as before. This seems too good to be true, but if I take their word for it, I might give them another try soon.

You effectively have to waive all insurance, checking, and package consolidation to attain the lowest fee, but that seems to be what they are best for at the moment. EMS shipping became way more expensive in June this year, so going the cheapest route is killing two birds with one stone. In response to the drastic increase in EMS shipping cost, many online Japanese shops and courier services have gone back to offering economy shipping options.

Hopefully the competition from Buyee will finally pressure Japonica Market to figure out how to start accepting direct credit card payments, instead of PayPal, whose additional 3.2% fees are bottlenecking their business.

By the way, as VOTwinstick said, another problem with Buyee is that they only work on Yahoo Japan Auctions and specific online marketplaces. Not only that, but they forbid me to bid on roughly 10% of auctions I look at. Their automated system flags sellers with insufficient volume of feedback (even if it's good) and flags auctions with certain words in it. For example an auction that generically states "Our grading scale for items - A: Mint B: Good D: has some dirt or scratches" gets flagged because the word "dirt" is in it.

The people who work at Japonica Market do a good job of checking your auctions for safety, using real people. So if there is a seller with 30 good feedback and 1 negative feedback, and the negative feedback says "You are stupid!" and was removed, they will bid on it.

Re: Buying items from Japan

Posted: 16 Oct 2022, 12:27
by MentholMoose
In case anyone has not been made unaware, the USD to JPY exchange rate is exceptionally favorable for buying items from Japan. It's literally the best rate in decades.
1 United States Dollar equals 148.45 Japanese Yen

Re: Buying items from Japan

Posted: 16 Oct 2022, 13:00
by MentholMoose
Lately I've been using FROM JAPAN. The basic fee for an auction item is a flat ¥300. There are other fees but overall it seems competitive. They changed their payment verification system so I couldn't use a Capital One card anymore, and their customer service suggested switching to PayPal which is a rip off for foreign transactions. I found a card from US Bank with no foreign transaction fees that works with their verification system. Overall I can recommend FROM JAPAN as long as you can find a card with no fees that works with their payment verification.

Re: Buying items from Japan

Posted: 27 Oct 2022, 23:45
by Porcupine
Looks like I haven't updated my activities here in ages.

From Japan was the best proxy service by far for a number of years, and they mostly replaced Japonica Market for me (they could never replace them completely, as each proxy service has their quirks, and From Japan has never accepted mercari orders). Their 300 yen flat fee also used to apply once per store order, which was wonderful. Unfortunately, From Japan changed to 300 yen per item a couple years ago and also became more strict with hentish materials (even back when From Japan was at its best, they once allowed me to order a hentai anime, then flagged it after receiving it. I then had to pay From Japan's arbitrary and outlandish ransom fee to ship it to another proxy in Japan).

Buyee is the only proxy I know of that still does 300 yen per store order so I started to try them after that, but they also have a ton of problems. There are so many things to complain of. I actually haven't had a single order go completely the way I expected with them.

The virus and shipping situation has made things even more problematic, so now I'm looking to other proxy services once again. I just tried using Neokyo/Zenmarket (they seem to have recently combined) but right now it's pick your poison with proxy services.

All proxy services except From Japan seem to charge an extra 3.5% PayPal fee in addition to their service fees. From Japan can avoid this since they are one of the few proxies that can accept credit card payments directly. Buyee secretly adds 4% fee to your total order when they do the currency conversion, and there is no option to pay in yen. I have a Chase Visa that gives 5% cash back with PayPal sometimes, which is one way to offset that cost.

The yen rate is extremely favorable but the shipping has gotten tremendously more expensive multiple times the last couple years, and Japan taxes have also increased twice. Just a couple days ago, I got notice that some Japanese figure stores that let you order directly are now going to start charging US domestic taxes upon us (this is terrible, but also makes proxy services more attractive until they also start charging US domestic tax. Hopefully they won't, as that would be double taxation).

My Capital One Mastercard without foreign transaction fee still worked with From Japan last month.