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On 10/13/2020 at 7:05 PM, sfbp said:

Jumping in here......
The best way to access Yahoo jp is to use a service. There are at least three. I have tried 2 of them, buyee.jp and fromJapan

Beware the hidden costs. You may well end up paying roughly double the final auction price.

Sorry for the late reply, but essentially my answer is the same as Stephen's. In the past I did have contacts directly in Japan or used independent middlemen services to import things, but as Stephen said the easiest way these days is to use a "proxy" service such as the ones he mentioned. I use a different one called ZenMarket, but I think the principle is essentially the same. They provide their own kind of user interface through their site that allows you to bid on Yahoo Japan auctions and purchase from any other online store in Japan. 

You do need to keep an eye on "hidden" costs. Again these vary between the different services, but for example with ZenMarket you can bid on the auction and then on top of that you may need to factor in shipping costs within Japan to the warehouse of the forwarder. These costs are sometimes free depending on the seller and type of item but are usually listed in the auction listing if you read it carefully. Other costs may include combining multiple items into one package (ZenMarket don't charge for this), the shipping costs to your country and depending on what you are importing you may also incur customs charges (usually VAT in the UK), but this also depends on the value of the goods you are importing and by which method (courier, normal postal services). 

So yes, you do need to watch out for these things or at least budget for them in advance, but I think on the plus side if you are careful you can still find a huge variety of things that you would never find on eBay and even including the various add-on costs, there are still some good deals to be had.. But if you want some detailed examples feel free to drop me a pm..

 

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