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百芸
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49 / M / KC
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Posted 4/6/15
I've ordered books from Amazon Japan before, but shipping can be quite expensive. I've had more luck with the price when buying used books from Amazon, though I inwardly cringe when I do that. I like my books in mint condition. I started buying more books lately, since I've found a Japanese book dealer in the US. The shipping is much more reasonable.

TBH, most of my manga are in English, though I am expanding into Japanese only; and LN too. I have the full collection of the Kokoro Connect LN (I think), the two volume novelization of Psycho-Pass, Another, a translation of the first Harry Potter book, and a few other books. I have the first 5 volumes of Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and I'm planning on buying Tonari no Seki-kun. That's a good chunk of my Japanese reading collection.
先輩(Moderator)
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21 / M / Poland
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Posted 4/6/15
Oh, the envy ;P
Sadly, Amazon is not an option for me since it doesn't accept PayPal payment. And true, I've heard the costs can get quite high.

I have nothing against second-hand goods - I've bought several manga, a figurine and even a PS3, all of them pre-owned, and I can't say a bad word about their quality. I guess I might have simply been lucky but both me and my wallet are happy :)

Yeah, as I was searching for manga stores with Google I stumbled upon several such points in the US. No such luck in Europe, let alone Poland And since most Japanese online stores offer only domestic shipping, the so-called proxy sites remain my only hope.

Oh, and speaking of LN, I was kind of surprised to find a volume of SAO translated into Polish in one of the bookstores I frequent. I was tempted to buy it but the problem was that it was the second volume, and the first one wasn't on the shelf. Same goes for pretty much every manga series I find there ._.

Thank you for sharing!
学生
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/6/15
I`m here to give you the best solution you`ll ever have XD

Before knowing this japanese online store I was stucked with amazon and its high high prices.

If you want to buy japanese books (and I mean from japanese language to manga or light novels) at the SAME price as Japan, pay via paypal and get quick (really quick) shipment, the solution is...

http://cdjapan.co.jp/

I always buy my books from that store and it`s totally in english! I`ve been buying from them for about 8 months and it`s great!

Go check it out, and you`ll see CDJapana is the best option for buying all kind of books and even games or all kind of stuff!

先輩(Moderator)
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21 / M / Poland
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/6/15
I've checked the link and I'm quite positively surprised :D

Not only do they have the item I was looking for but it's also in mint condition and there's no tax on it! Also, I've compared the estimated shipping costs with those of the same, second-hand item on a certain proxy site and they're roughly the same! And the process seems less complicated

Anyway, I'll probably be making my order using this site, so thank you very much for letting me know! By the way, what sort of shipping option do you usually use? I'm kind of a cheapskate so I'll probably go with SAL - last time I used it there were no problems at all and the delivery was lightning-fast for this kind of shipment.
学生
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M / Mexico
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/6/15
I`m glad you liked it, that`s the best site I know for buying from Japan.

I always use EMS because I like having my things right away xD

I don`t use Fedex because here at Mexico they charge a lot of taxes U.U

SAL is ok if you don`t buy a lot of things, if you buy a lot of books because of the weight AL would not be an option.
先生
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Posted 4/6/15
Senpai, was the shipping expensive? Because out of curiosity, I clicked on one manga book worth about 500 yen and then clicked on the shipping estimator button and the cheapest shipping was $20 and my face was like One note about EMS: Although EMS is expensive, it is really efficient. Like, you'll definitely get your product within a week. I know this because I ordered my yukata via EMS and it came really fast!
学生
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35 / M / UK
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Posted 4/6/15

MidorikaSatsu wrote:
and there's no tax on it!


Have you imported many items before? I don't know about Poland but here in the UK we have taxes added by our own government on goods imported from outside the European Union for all items over £15 (about €20). The tax rate added here is the same rate as you would pay if the same goods were bought from a local shop.
先輩(Moderator)
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21 / M / Poland
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Posted 4/6/15
Although not necessarily many, I have imported a couple of things and I don't recall being extra charged for any of them.

We're talking about shipping overseas, so yeah, you should expect it to be expensive ._. I know it was only for the test but there's little point in buying single volumes like that - it's going to cost you, otherwise.

I don't really mind waiting as long as I get my package EMS and the like sound like a much safer and reliable option but my only problem with it (everyone's too, I guess) is that the estimated cost of shipment would be nearly the same as that of the item itself!

So if the package weighs too much, you can't use SAL as a shipment option, is that correct?

Thank you all for information! I'll try and put it to good use!
漢和名手
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 4/6/15 , edited 4/6/15
I've ordered books from Japan before as well. Amazon Japan is expensive for manga as they charge for shipping a base rate plus an incremental amount for each book-- and the incremental amount (Y400) is the same whether it's a Y450 manga volume or a Y4000 art book. (This is to ship to the U.S.-- other countries may be quite different.) However, if you buy a manga set (i.e. volumes 1 through whatever is current, specifically packaged and sold as a set-- you can't just add all the individual volumes in your cart), the entire set counts as a single "book," and shipping-per-volume can become quite reasonable. Only a limited number of sets are available at any time, though-- they typically become available when the latest single volume becomes available. For popular manga, the sets might be re-stocked before the next volume is released, so one has to check the site periodically. Shipping is by EMS, so it's quite fast. One can pre-order to-be-released volumes too.

When ordering a bunch of single volumes, Amazon Japan is too expensive, and I've typically ordered through Kinokuniya. Prices are marked up relative to the cover price to account for importation (and the amount of the mark-up seems to vary by the age of the book, and the dollar-yen exchange rate at that time-- U.S. dollar is doing rather well lately), but if you order more than US$50, shipping is free (otherwise a flat US$8). Kinokuniya is available only in a few countries, though (the U.S. being one of them). I've seen a number of recommendations on CR for CDJapan, though, so one of these days I'll have to check that out myself.

The shipping page from amiami.com summarizes the various shipping methods nicely, and gives a side-by-side comparison.
http://www.amiami.com/top/page/t/faq2.html
Incidentally, not every vendor will have all these methods available for customers.
人間百科
CaelK 
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Posted 4/7/15 , edited 4/7/15
That's strange. Sometimes I've used Amazon Japan and the price comes out to around the same as Kinokuniya. I used to never use them and go through a forwarder instead, but the shipping costs have gotten better. Maybe I didn't order much that time, can't remember, but the exchange rate's gotten better, and you can get more than just manga from them. It'll all come in one shipment if you order stuff stocked by them, and not an independent seller.

Buying stuff from Japan... egh, I've written a lot about it and don't feel like doing that again. So link. Some of this stuff could be outdated, though.

http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

JShoppers (Tenso Japan) seems to want some ID now. There was some law or something about it, and some forwarding services started asking for a pic of that stuff or something. They don't seem to care if you edit out anything past date of birth, name, and address... and heck, you might be able to give them expired identification. If you edit out everything else, there's no way they'd know.

If you're going through a forwarder, Melon Books has hated on them before. I usually go for Suruga-ya since they have a lot of (used) odds and ends, then have it sent to the forwarder. There are times when I've had to go hunting for stuff, but I haven't done that in a while.

I haven't used them in a while, though.
先輩(Moderator)
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21 / M / Poland
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Posted 4/7/15
Thank you all for the great deal of effort you've all put into sharing information with me I really appreciate it!

Anyway, today I had decided to rely on my luck and my good faith in unregistered SAL and placed the order this morning. Should everything go smoothly, you'll be seeing me bragging about my newly acquired manga in a matter of, say 2-3 weeks Otherwise I'll curl up in a corner and cry (TωT)

Once again, thank you guys!
学生
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F / Australia
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Posted 4/7/15
Has anyone been to kinokuniya?
人間百科
CaelK 
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Posted 4/7/15
Uh... yeah? I've been to the bookstore, and I've been to stores in present day Ki no Kuni (Okayama). Did ya wanna know somethin' about 'em?
学生
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F / Australia
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Posted 4/8/15
Cool! Yeah is it really cheap or something to buy from there?
漢和名手
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46 / M / Bay Area, CA, USA
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Posted 4/8/15
紀伊国屋って書店が凄いと思う、でも値段は余り安くないんだ。確かに日本ノ商品だからね。本や漫画や雑誌やグッズとかいっぱいあるんだ。
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