Buying & Shipping Items from Japan

There are many Japan proxy and auction services available for US residents looking to purchase stuff from Japan.  In “Selling to Heroes, Villains and Geeks”, is discussed extensively.  However, Buyee ( is now my preferred proxy purchasing agent.  Why?

  1. Simple fee structure
  2. Surface mail (Seamail) is offered as a shipping method

Let’s focus on shipping.  The shipping cost is by far the largest expense when shipping multiple items from Japan.  Shipping methods offered by Buyee include:

  • EMS (Express Mail Service)/USPS
  • Air International Parcel
  • SAL International Parcel
  • Seamail International Parcel
  • Air Registered Small Packet
  • SAL Registered Small Packet
  • DHL
  • UPS (Whoa! Too expensive)

All proxy purchasing agents or baggage forwarding services offer EMS as the preferred shipping method for parcels because of speed (7 days or less) and reliability.  However, when shipping multiple large boxes this becomes a drain on your profits.  Enter Surface Mail/Seamail which is typically 50% less than EMS. Surface Mail is the most cost effective option if time is not of the essence.  It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months for your packages to arrive since land & sea are the only transportation modes used.

Choosing Surface/Seamail does require advanced planning since your packages won’t arrive for 2+ months. But the significant savings from the lower shipping cost can’t be ignored.  Those savings can be reinvested in more inventory or increased profit margins.

Tracking is available through USPS for seamail. You’ll see that your package has been processed through KAWASAKI PORT, JAPAN and the familiar “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” status.  For my shipments, the status didn’t change for 65 days until the package arrived in Jacksonville, FL.

Buyee allows you to purchase from the most popular online stores and they frequently offer up to 50% off EMS if you purchase from Rakuten or other stores above a certain dollar amount.  Buyee is fully integrated with Yahoo Japan (auctions) so bidding is automatic and, of course, they offer sniper bids.

I recently used Buyee for 39 (yes, thirty-nine) orders, mostly auctions.  Through their Consolidation Service I was able to fit all the items in 5 large boxes. Yea!  If there are 2 packages the fee is 500 JPY.  If there are 3 or more packages the consolidation fee is 1,000 JPY.  To be honest, the 39 orders presented a bit of a problem for Buyee’s systems and I had to send several emails to Customer Service but the Customer Service Representatives were FANTASTIC!

When selecting Consolidation, I couldn’t choose all 39 orders for consolidation since Buyee’s system would deliver an error message saying the orders were over the EMS (default setting) size limit.  So, I could only select 10 orders at a time for consolidation. But, the warehouse people packed all 39 orders in the most efficient manner which resulted in 5 large boxes. I should note that while it was 39 orders, it was well over 200 items since I won several auctions with multiple items, and there were several very large (43cm) plushies.

The Seamail cost per box ranged from $45-$55 while EMS was over $100 per box.  PLEASE NOTE: I mainly ship plushies through SEAMAIL! So, it’s impossible for them to be damaged if the box is handled roughly during its 2+ month’s journey. If you are shipping fragile items opt for Buyee’s protective packaging service (1,500 JPY).

You may be telling yourself, this sounds too good to be true! Well, it’s almost too good to be true.  There is one downside with Buyee. Their proxy purchasing service is only available for the most popular Japanese websites (Yahoo Japan, Rakuten, Amazon Japan, Yahoo Shopping, Zozotown, etc.).  If you want to purchase from a website not on their list of partners you are out of luck. Boo!

What to do? What to do if you want to purchase from another website not supported by Buyee? Stay tuned for my next post on another proxy purchasing service that will place your orders on any Japanese website and offers surface mail.

Fate/Apocrypha to premiere July 1st in Japan and July 3rd on Netflix.

Fate/Apocrypha, the setting is a parallel world to Fate/stay night where the Greater Grail mysteriously disappeared from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War. After many years of silence, around the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have happened, the Yggdmillennia, a family of magi, openly declares their secession from the Mage’s Association, and that they are in possession of the Grail. The Association dispatches fifty magi to retrieve it, and all but one are instantly slaughtered by a mysterious Servant. The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.

In the city of Trifas, two factions will fight for the control of the sacred relic, each of them possessing their own team of seven Servants: the Black Faction whose members are part of Yggdmillennia, protecting the Grail, and the Red Faction whose members were sent by the Mage’s Association, trying to take the Grail back. For an event of this scale, the Grail itself summons its own Servant, the holy Ruler, to oversee the conflict.

Bleach Manga is Coming to an End!

With 73 volumes of manga, 366 anime episodes, and 4 movies, Tite Kubo’s series Bleach is usually considered one of the “big 3” manga alongside One Piece and Naruto. Its popularity has led to video games, musicals and more. For many fans, Bleach first introduced them to anime and manga when it started its serialization in Weekly Shounen Jump in Aug. 2001.This most recent volume may be the most talked-about one yet, though, as fans were hit with some serious news: After a run of just under 15 years, the end is in sight! It brought an announcement that volume 74 will bring a conclusion to the epic franchise. It hasn’t been revealed yet just how many chapters remain, but this will mark the end of an era!



Attack on Titan – TV Season 2 – Spring 2017

Attack on Titan 2nd Season to Air in Spring 2017! Fans have been promised a second season of the popular manga-turned-anime Attack on Titan / Shingeki no Kyojin but no further details have been confirmed till today. At an Attack on Titan: Junior High event held in Tokyo on July 3 local time, it was announced that the second season of the anime will air in Spring 2017.



Premiered in the U.S. on October 20th

Plot: In a world where giant humanoid Titans prey on humans, a young man, his foster sister and a family friend join the legion to get revenge on the monsters that killed everyone in their town.

The story is told in Japanese with English subtitles.


The titans, while less prominent in Part 2, and the actress playing Hanj Zoe were the only good parts of the second part of Attack On Titan.  Part 2 significantly deviated from the TV series storyline. And, while that would have been okay if it worked, unfortunately it didn’t.  Again, Part 2 had to compress 50% of the TV episodes into 99 minutes. But the shortcuts were ill advised. Either the writers should have adhered strictly to the TV series storyline or write a completely different plot for the movie. Sticking with the plot from the TV series while also altering major storylines in the movie resulted in a jumbled mess.

Backstories were added in Part 2 but they only added to the confusion. Eren Yeager had a brother? And, why is he so important that a character uttered this information with his dying words? Who cares? Apparently Eren didn’t because this tidbit of information was completely forgotten for the rest of the movie.

Before seeing the movie I set my expectations very low.  So watching Part 2 was actually an enjoyable experience up until the ending.  A major character’s motive did a 180 degree U-turn which was completely not credible and head-scratching.  Also, the Disney-esque ending is better left to Disney movies that don’t have giant monsters mutilating and eating people. I don’t expect a sequel or remake anytime soon since theatres showing Part 2 were scarce. No doubt this was a result of Part 1 doing poorly.