Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Zorbfish Jan 28, 2018

So they block foreign credit cards so I had my order declined. Does anyone know of a way to order from their online shop for as close to item price as possible? No, I am not willing to shell out 30-50% markups through a middleman order for this.

jb Jan 28, 2018

The only option is get a middleman, wait for it to hit the secondary market, or get a foreign credit card. Options 1 and 2 will have a markup no matter how you arrange it. Even if you have a friend who won't charge you a markup you're paying double shipping. Option 3 is probably not an option if you're asking.

The_Paladin Jan 29, 2018 (edited Jan 29, 2018)

So are you talking about the NA Square store or the JP one?  Definitely pays to check NA one if you haven't as I feel they've gotten better about having Japanese albums, but if you're outside of both I'm not sure, though I'd be willing to help buy off the NA store if needed.

jb Jan 29, 2018

The NA one is the same, I bought something for Alca from it.

XISMZERO Jan 29, 2018

Still don't know why, in 2018, companies are prohibited "overseas" buyers for buying, legally. Just stupid.

Maybe someone with more knowledge of Japanese business can give a better reason but a lot of Japanese based sites won't do business directly but will often sponsor some kind of middling service.

Don't they know people will go the second-hand market, thus, they make no money?

jb Jan 29, 2018 (edited Jan 29, 2018)

XISMZERO wrote:

Still don't know why, in 2018, companies are prohibited "overseas" buyers for buying, legally. Just stupid.

Maybe someone with more knowledge of Japanese business can give a better reason but a lot of Japanese based sites won't do business directly but will often sponsor some kind of middling service.

Don't they know people will go the second-hand market, thus, they make no money?

I think we can all agree as consumers that it is stupid. I'm sure companies and enterprises have different takes on it.

Just some examples from over the years

- The recent Avex imprint international ban. A decent article that summarizes some of the theories here: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answer … 15/.112254
- The Japanese export restriction on video games. At least when I started using Amazon.co.jp back in the early 00s, this was a very big issue. I don't know how big of an issue it is now or if they still apply it because I don't really buy them but it was a hot topic of conversation 15 years ago.
- Japanese hentai/eroge export restrictions. I think this has to do with different international restrictions on pornography and censorship more than anything. I don't buy this stuff but I have run into it a few times when trying to purchase a soundtrack to something in that category. I had a pretty hard time trying to import the Perfect Prince soundtrack in 2002 and Sakimoto-san was really surprised I presented Perfect Prince for autograph when he came to Otakon in 20...12(ish?). Recently I think there was also something Hiroki Kikuta did that was eroge that I had to go through different channels to get but I can't remember the name at the moment.

You also have to account for the overhead to offer and ship something internationally for a country that traditionally does not. And honestly, they could just be lazy and not want to.

The "not making money" part isn't technically accurate. The amount of people importing media from Japan is a very, very small number. The amount of people willing to go through a middleman service to import restricted items is even smaller. If someone is selling the item on the secondary market they have already made the retail price tag from that item and thus it's just transfer of ownership + a small markup. I don't think they care if there is as middleman markup, a service markup, or a flat out "this item is crazy rare and commands a high price" markup. The amount of people who do that are insignificant when calculating overall revenue for a product. And honestly if all of those people just downloaded it and/or didn't pay for it at all they wouldn't even notice.

I know it sucks, it's expensive, and it's time consuming, but if it's important enough to you to warrant purchasing a physical copy, middlemen are really the only viable option we have. hmm

Zorbfish Jan 29, 2018

Sorry just getting back to this so mass response:

jb wrote:

The only option is get a middleman, wait for it to hit the secondary market, or get a foreign credit card. Options 1 and 2 will have a markup no matter how you arrange it. Even if you have a friend who won't charge you a markup you're paying double shipping. Option 3 is probably not an option if you're asking.

I don't mind paying for domestic shipping. I kinda see that as a given; just like paying the Japanese VAT. I just didn't want to resort to a middleman because their prices are ridiculous and I can usually perform their job just fine. I just need a way to get it out of the country and to my doorstep.

The_Paladin wrote:

So are you talking about the NA Square store or the JP one?

Japan. They carry more goods from other series I like that never make it to the NA store like SaGa and the new upcoming Secret of Mana remake.

XISMZERO wrote:

Still don't know why, in 2018, companies are prohibited "overseas" buyers for buying, legally. Just stupid.

Maybe someone with more knowledge of Japanese business can give a better reason but a lot of Japanese based sites won't do business directly but will often sponsor some kind of middling service.

Don't they know people will go the second-hand market, thus, they make no money?

A lot of what I've heard is they just can't be bothered with the logistics of it. Then there's always the bad apple that ruins it for all of us by doing things like a credit card charge back, returned empty package, damaged goods. Small hassles, yes, but I guess it adds up to a lot of frustration.

jb wrote:

Recently I think there was also something Hiroki Kikuta did that was eroge that I had to go through different channels to get but I can't remember the name at the moment.

I'd be interested to hear what that is because I'm a huge fan of Kikuta and try to get all his works but I hadn't heard he did any eroge recently. I know he did it back in the past with PuzzleBox.

jb Jan 29, 2018

Zorbfish wrote:
jb wrote:

Recently I think there was also something Hiroki Kikuta did that was eroge that I had to go through different channels to get but I can't remember the name at the moment.

I'd be interested to hear what that is because I'm a huge fan of Kikuta and try to get all his works but I hadn't heard he did any eroge recently. I know he did it back in the past with PuzzleBox.

It's entirely possible I'm misremembering but I'll try and look some stuff up and see if I can figure it out.

student41269 Jan 30, 2018

If all else fails, for the JP Square Enix store I would use fromjapan.co.jp as middleman - they've gotten a lot better for fees recently, especially if you're buying a lot from a single store. 300 yen one-off handling fee and you're done.

longhairmike Jan 31, 2018

last time i ordered from them was a denim longsleeve shirt with the final fantasy 8 logo embroidered on the back.

Zane Jan 31, 2018

longhairmike wrote:

last time i ordered from them was a denim longsleeve shirt with the final fantasy 8 logo embroidered on the back.

Longhairmike - not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.

Zorbfish Jan 31, 2018

student41269 wrote:

If all else fails, for the JP Square Enix store I would use fromjapan.co.jp as middleman - they've gotten a lot better for fees recently, especially if you're buying a lot from a single store. 300 yen one-off handling fee and you're done.

So could you explain this a bit since it sounds like you're familiar with buying through them? I looked at their fee page and it wasn't very clear. Are you saying it's a forwarding address and you can buy and ship all you want to them for only 300 yen? If that's the case that's a great deal and I'm surprised they don't advertise how good their prices are.

student41269 Feb 1, 2018

Zorbfish wrote:

So could you explain this a bit since it sounds like you're familiar with buying through them? I looked at their fee page and it wasn't very clear. Are you saying it's a forwarding address and you can buy and ship all you want to them for only 300 yen?

Pretty much, but to reiterate: that's the fee they charge per store/per order. So yes, you could order a bunch of items all from the SE store, and the charge would only be 300 yen (plus, of course, the usual tax & domestic shipping & actual shipping to you). However, if you ordered something else from another site it would be another 300 yen, even if it's ultimately going to make its way to you in the same box as the SE stuff.

It's worth mentioning there's a higher tier service where the cost is 700 yen, again per store/per order, and for this they will actually inspect the goods for you first and compare with its advertised condition. I have never felt the need to use this since stuff from Japanese stores is typically well cared-for as standard.

jb Feb 1, 2018

jb wrote:

It's entirely possible I'm misremembering but I'll try and look some stuff up and see if I can figure it out.

I'm going to assume I was just misremembering because I couldn't find anything. I probably should not have said "recently", it was likely 5-8 years ago.

Alcahest Feb 1, 2018 (edited Feb 1, 2018)

jb wrote:

The NA one is the same, I bought something for Alca from it.

And thanks again for that! <3

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