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.