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What I do now with Otaku is that I call him and he will usually give me a discount like if i order 2 or more he'll invoice me and just charge me the 9 for EMS. You have to talk to him and try to make a deal with him since I have bought alot from him not just VGM but artbooks as well he has given me shipping discounts yes I do live in the States and yes I do call Japan.
I don't usually go to eBay for soundtracks, but I recently purchased something from champ des pins. Was a bit hesitant at first, but after seeing the seller mentioned on here a few times I decided to go ahead with the purchase. Are there any other known and trusted eBay sellers similar to champ?
Just wanted to put a word in here for the fromjapan.co.jp middleman service. I've started using it and completed a couple of transactions in recent months, and it has been great. It's largely automated, with a comprehensive system, so the time between seeing what I want to buy and the middleman shipping it to me is significantly reduced compared to any other similar service I've used. There are the usual fees involved, but they seem quite fair, and costs only start to mount if there are delays (due to the user getting their facts wrong about the initial order, insufficient funds, etc) so it rewards you doing your research and sums in advance. Best of all, you can choose your preferred shipping option and specify the value written on the customs declaration.
Do they urge you to ship out all order within a month, or can they store stuff longer?
As far as I can tell they do have a similar policy where you have thirty days to organise and pay for shipping, or else they go ahead and ship it however they see fit. You can arrange to extend that holding period, but there's a charge (100 yen, I think) for each extra day.
Thanks, same with the few services I've tried. I understand space is an issue, but 30 days is super tight, and this policy makes it very hard to save on shipping, unless you pay for daily storage, which makes it less interesting.
If anybody knows a Japanese service that provides at least 3 months of free storage...
I don't understand what the issue with storage is? Do all these services hold onto items so you can bulk ship middleman service bought items or something? That seems like a wildly stupid point from a business perspective. I don't expect Amazon to hold 8 separate orders placed around the same time and ship them all together so I save on shipping -- that's just not how it works. Even some of my CDJ "monthly" orders that I do have ended up being split into two shipments because one item is outside of their hold range (I think 30 or 60 days or something). I think it's completely unreasonable to expect that behavior from any business, the fact that they do it astounds me. I mean, how many items really need middleman services anyway? Are you really ordering that many?
A comment about CDJapan I recently ran into with their Special Request ordering service. I ordered the new Majora's Mask album from them via special request shopping service because it was only available from http://symphony-5.com/ajrj/ at the time and that's fine. But shortly after I ordered it they put it up for sale on their regular site as a regular item so I ended up paying more money for it than I normally would have because they were either late putting it up on their site or realized they could stock it and stocked it after my special request. I emailed them to see if I could get a refund for the difference between the special request cost and the stock cost (even if it was in the form of points) and they essentially told me no, so I'm a little bummed out about it. Just a heads up.
Some people order a lot, and some people may order less but the items may be heavy, like computers or musical instruments, or other heavy/bulky items which can't be found elsewhere (out of print, vintage, limited editions...). I think it's reasonable to expect your middleman to wait some time and group items, especially if you've been a good customer for several months. I believe it's supposed to be a more human and personalised service than your usual internet shopping website like Amazon, and that is usually reflected in the fees charged.
I still think the main issue is lack of space, and rules which they wouldn't mind overlooking, but they're rules so they stick to them. Besides, some services charge daily storage fees per item, so they're happy to keep them around