I’ve been stung a couple of times using Buyee (300¥ service fee per order) and the crazy shipping charges and surprise import duty, so started looking for alternatives. I found many, including White Rabbit Express (800¥ service fee per order) and Zen Market (300¥ service fee per item!), but they all understandably keep total shipped cost out of sight due to it relying on so many factors that are unknown until the package is ready to ship.
Amazon Japan Global Shipping
See here - sellers post your item at a local locker or convenience store and Amazon take care of the rest. This is an improvement, but for the games I’ve been buying the shipping cost is more than the game. Also, it’s a bit of a crap shoot as you currently have to dig through the first dozen or so buying options until you find an item eligible for global shipping — my method is to add them to basket and then go to checkout and then delete all items that are not eligible. Even so, the prices are better than using a forwarding service.
After all that, I realised there is a better method hiding in plain sight. I’ve not seen discussed anywhere before so thought I’d share it.
This takes adadvantage of the fact that an item’s ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) is the same/consistent across all regions. Thanks Jeff Bezos!
- Find the game you want on Amazon Japan
- Change the URL to your local Amazon, for me I swap the .jp to .uk
- Pick a seller that ships direct from Japan, mostly with free shipping
- Save money and have fun!
(you can also search your region Amazon for “[Japan Import]” if you want to browse)
I’ve been plugging holes in my collection using this method and it’s the most economical source I’ve found.
Does anybody else have any other ways to import games at sensible prices?