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  #1  
Old Jan 25, 2020, 06:25 PM
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Default Purchase agent that doesn't require 100% deposit

Any suggestions? My current agent is OK, but requires me to deposit each and every time I want to bid. Even when I want to increase a bid because someone outbid me, I need to add the difference.

I've been a customer for years and this is starting to piss me off. Especially since credit card refund has to convert JPY again so I end up losing money for all the lost bids that the agent refunds me.

Looking for an agent where at least after a while they can sort of trust me...? And not ask me to pay upfront up to the last yen.

thanks!
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 06:16 PM
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Zenmarket gives you ¥5000 credit to purchase items, but I think you have to be a frequent customer. They also keep funds in your account, so if you plan on buying from Japan often, you can just leave your converted currency there.

But once you place a bid, you can't increase it unless someone outbids you, so place your highest bid (they also do delayed [snipe] bidding)!

They also give ¥500 to referrals, but I can't find the link!

They charge ¥300 for purchases and a 3.5% deposit fee, so if that sounds like a better deal than what you have, check it out!

They also have their own shopping platform called ZenPlus and won't charge extra fees for using it.

By the way, which proxy service are you using? (please don't be ZenMarket!)
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 04:17 AM
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I've been using FromJapan for a few years and have been pretty happy with it. They used to do the deposit-thing, but switched away from it not that long ago. So now they only charge your card if you actually win an auction.

But yeah, they also have a ¥300 minimum service fee (higher service fee is optional and adds some extra insurance) per won auction.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 05:12 AM
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those 2 sound great, i'll check them out asap. thanks for the tips

i'm using jpshopping.jp for some reason. i think the original reason was that their system is anal about payments (which are required before bidding no matter what), but once you are outbid, you can easily increase your bid and in a few minutes it bids for you. that saved my butt a few times.

i just can't stand losing auctions and receing back my payments with credit card/exchange fees charged. i'm paying for my money going away on monday and coming back on tuesday, it's ridiculous.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 07:18 PM
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can zenmarket and fromjapan keep your items for x weeks/months and combine them for a single shipping??

fromjapan says that deposits are only valid for 20 days, that's way too short...

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/help/fee#payment_methods


I totally forgot I had an account with Goody-Japan. They do the deposit thing, but it has no time limit, just found out I had 5,000y on it since 2015 and it's still there. They say they keep items up to 60 days which isn't bad.
I'll ask them if they have special treatment for long-time customers about exceeding the deposit. I don't think Japanese make exceptions though
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
can zenmarket and fromjapan keep your items for x weeks/months and combine them for a single shipping??

fromjapan says that deposits are only valid for 20 days, that's way too short...
The deposit you're linking to here is payment deposits, which are optional, and it was my understanding that those were what you were trying to avoid? They still offer them, but you're free to use credit card or paypal instead.

FromJapan will store items for up to 45 days so you can combine for shipment, yes: https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/help/logistics
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 04:38 AM
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I went through their guide but there doesn't seem to be any mention of how it works. So they just record the credit card number and actually charge after you win the auction? Or do they charge first and refund if the auction is not won? It's the charge-first-refund-later I'm really trying to avoid. Deposit is still better than nothing, since it can be used later if you lose an auction.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 06:09 AM
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They only charge if you actually win an auction.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:15 PM
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Not being able to bid for more than your deposit sounds like a real pain. I haven't used them in years but shoppingmalljapan always worked without any problems for me. It seems they allow you to bid for 5 times your deposit these days. To add to that, everything always went very smooth when I used their services - for example they allow you to store stuff in their Tokyo warehouse so you can ship 'everything at once' and their packaging was always top-notch.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:28 PM
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Just a short note that SMJ is closing down. I'm not sure how long they still operate, but at this point you can't initiate any new orders. The only thing still working is shipping stored packages to your address.

EDIT: The closing down bit comes directly from the admins. It's not a guess from my side.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 01:05 PM
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Really? What a shame if that's the case. I can't see anything about it on their site, did they say why they are closing down?
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 01:33 PM
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No, I spoke with Nick (if you use SMJ you probably know him) and he didn't want to comment on the situation. He just confirmed that they're closing down. He mentioned that he might be able to share more information once "everything is said and done".
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 02:00 PM
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Oh yeah I remember Nick. Well that's a shame, they were always so reliable. Perhaps the competition is too fierce these days.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
can zenmarket and fromjapan keep your items for x weeks/months and combine them for a single shipping??
Zenmarket will hold items up to 45 days. After that, they charge ¥50 per day per item.

There's more information regarding fees here: https://zenmarket.jp/en/fees.aspx
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 04:55 AM
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well, fromjapan confirmed they don't need deposit if you register a paypal account or credit card. seems weird but i'll give it a try
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 05:57 PM
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FromJapan's website is much better than I expected, and indeed I can bid freely like an Icelandic horse can run freely on his island. Wish I had asked before.

rpbtz: do you use the basic forwarding service or the premium one that includes insurance and item checking etc. ?
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Old Feb 10, 2020, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
FromJapan's website is much better than I expected, and indeed I can bid freely like an Icelandic horse can run freely on his island. Wish I had asked before.

rpbtz: do you use the basic forwarding service or the premium one that includes insurance and item checking etc. ?
Sorry, didn't see this until now. I mostly use the basic service and have never had an issue. I've used the premium one on just a few occasions where I was a bit paranoid about rare or expensive items.
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Old Feb 10, 2020, 07:49 AM
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That's cool, thanks for the info
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Old Oct 2, 2020, 03:32 AM
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Just wanted to follow up on my experience with FromJapan. Not a positive one. First, they categorically refuse to declare a lower value on the customs form. So if I buy a small tape for 15,000 yen, this is 100% sure the customs will ask for VAT, and the postal service will also charge for admin fee of 20usd per package. Got 4 packages from them, and yes, all of them were caught and charged to me around 40usd extra.

Then, the storage limit, which is fair, 45 days, but there's no last warning telling you the item will be discarded. Well, too bad to me, my Battle Garegga rev. 2016 OST is at 46 days today and the guys are closed until Monday, so I can expect the soundtrack to have been dumped already. I'm sure there will be no flexibility on this either. I find this quite ridiculous. Other services will keep the item and start charging XX yen per day.

I'm going back to JapanShoppingService, and looking for another service for the near future.
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  #20  
Old Oct 2, 2020, 04:17 AM
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My general research/experience with Yahoo proxies is that they are mostly the same and no one company is better than the other, the total fees charged are fairly similar, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses (e.g. Buyee's fee-free storage limit is on the lower side at 30 days, others are 45 days; Buyee doesn't require a deposit in advance to bid, but others do; Zenmarket has a loyalty program, others don't, etc...). Furthermore, your experience with the agent and the fees charged may change depending on the particular nature of the transaction (e.g. one big expensive heavy item from one seller versus multiple inexpensive small stuff from one or multiple sellers). How much the fee is, is less important than what kind of fee it is. Overall, it makes comparing hard (and time consuming to be honest).

I can say though that I have not found a good proxy that is well equipped to deal with multiple items from one seller over multiple days. Understandably, due to the Yahoo "system" and technical reasons, they (the agent), want to start, pay for and finish the transaction on the same day the auction ends. So if you want local combined shipping from one seller over a period of time, you'll have to find another way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
Just wanted to follow up on my experience with FromJapan. Not a positive one. First, they categorically refuse to declare a lower value on the customs form.
Isn't that for insurance purposes? Suppose for whatever reason, the package is lost or the contents damaged. I would imagine that the sender (or you) would want compensation for the full value of the items. If they declared a lower value than the true value, then they just screwed themselves. It sucks that some countries have high import taxes/tariffs but them's the breaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
no flexibility
Without going into detail, I'm having an issue with a proxy that involves the topic of flexibility (or lack of). Due to this lack of flexibility, my parcels have been in storage since March...

Yahoo agents are great when things are going smoothly. But when an issue or a complication arises, then it can potentially all go to shit, I'm sorry to say.
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  #21  
Old Oct 2, 2020, 04:39 AM
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JSS allow you to fill in the customs form yourself. Declared value does not equal refund value in case something goes wrong. That depends on the type of shipment you selected and whether you got insurance premium. I just found out they would discard items after 45 days. I thought they'd start charging. Imagine you buy really expensive stuff, end up in hospital or something, and they just bin your stuff on day 46. That's one and half month, I don't find that to be very long.

I know large packages have a high chance of being stopped at the customs, even you declare 10usd. But with small packages, as long as you declare a fairly low, but sensible value, you have a good chance of getting through uncharged. Been buying from different continents for the last 15 years

That being said I fully understand these guys have thousands of customers and need strict rules to avoid wasting time, space, money and patience. I just have a hard time believing they discard stuff so easily. Like, employees probably just take the stuff home or resell it. Still a better thought that picturing your expensive album in a dumpster.

I may be trying ZenMarket for the next purchases.

P.S. Good luck getting full refund for damaged packages. Not sure if you've ever tried! Might as well not insure anything except REALLY expensive stuff.
Last time I got a package half opened and empty. Post guy ran away, I managed to catch him in time, he said, sorry bud, this is the way we got your package, nothing we can do, deal with it. Package had a tracking and all the yadda yadda ---> useless !
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Old Oct 2, 2020, 08:35 AM
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In the past I've seen various Yahoo and eBay accounts that sell what suspiciously looks to be discarded items so I wouldn't be surprised if they did that. It would be pretty weak if they discarded your item on exactly the 46th day. Surely it would be reasonable to expect a grace period of some sort.

I've personally never attempted to get compensation for damaged packages, no, since I never had that happen to me fortunately (knock on wood). Just some lost parcels that can be counted with 2 hands, and half of them lost this year. Not bad for 14 years of importing too.
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Old Oct 2, 2020, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
I may be trying ZenMarket for the next purchases.
Keep in mind that Zenmarket seems to be completely blocked from Mercari. Not sure why. Maybe something to do with all dose Buyee ads plastered on their site?

BTW, I used Buyee. I have mixed feelings about them:

• pay only after you win an auction
• 300 yen flat buying fee
• 1000 yen fee for consolidating 4 CDs?! and THEN I have to pay for int'l shipping on top of that??

So if you buy multiple items, they better be from the same seller shipped in the same package.
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Old Oct 3, 2020, 02:22 AM
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There are ads on Mercari and YAJ all over the place, seems like they finally realised lots of gaijin buy there, for like, what, the last 20 years, lol?

Thanks for the info. I do stock as long as possible in order to make intl shipping worth it, so that consolidation fee seems like easy money for them.

@layzee why are your packages stuck at the agent since march? shipping to US is all working again now

so yeah i dont expect to see my expired item ever, but i'll see what they say on Monday. if they really discard stuff on the 1st overdue day, it would really suck a sock.
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Old Oct 3, 2020, 04:17 AM
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Wait, so these places (or at least one place) actually throw away the album, you bought, into the garbage?

Why the hell would ANYONE ever do business with some place that would STEAL their money like that?
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Old Oct 3, 2020, 05:53 AM
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Why the hell would ANYONE ever do business with some place that would STEAL their money like that?
I don't see the stealing part here. If you use a proxy service then you also agree to the terms of use.
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Old Oct 3, 2020, 06:45 PM
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Yeah, they do warn you. Still, it's terrible, because you may have several reasons to be late and tip over the 1.5 month limit. This being said if I've lost the album, it was the cheapest in the lot. I had other stuff that was going to be overdue a few hours later, so I quickly filled the shipment request.

https://postimg.cc/xXqW3Yj4

This is funny though, because they have not yet charged shipping and charges. They only charged the auction amount. So they are losing money if they discard the item. So it makes sense, as layzee suggested, that they actually resell these items to get their money back.

Bottom line: don't let your beloved japanese items sit too long if you use FromJapan

Edit: they were nice enough to restore the item in my account but only for 24 hours. Last call, last chance lol. I got this shipped in a separate package, that will teach me for the future.
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Old Oct 3, 2020, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
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1000 yen fee for consolidating 4 CDs?! and THEN I have to pay for int'l shipping on top of that??
Yes, this is the biggest racket about Buyee. That, and (according to an email from them on this topic) they also pay for the most expensive method of shipping to them when the seller gives them a choice, because it's the "best" method. So if the seller is offering a cheap 200 yen service and then also then 1000 yen "expedited" service or whatever, Buyee will always take the 1000 yen service, even if you flat-out tell them you do not want them to. It's a gigantic waste of money.

However, for buying from certain sellers on YJA, I do highly recommend Buyee's service. It works out very well sometimes.

Of course, nowadays you pretty much can't get anything shipped from Japan because oh noes there's a bug and we can get sick, but when you COULD buy stuff from Japan, I would usually recommend Buyee.
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Old Oct 11, 2020, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxKiller65 View Post
@layzee why are your packages stuck at the agent since march? shipping to US is all working again now
I'm in .au so most restrictions still apply. The mistake I made was that I consolidated my packages so now they're too large to ship, and they refuse to unconsolidate it or split them up and ship multiple packages. So because of that, my stuff is just stuck there.

Quote:
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Yes, this is the biggest racket about Buyee. That, and (according to an email from them on this topic) they also pay for the most expensive method of shipping to them when the seller gives them a choice, because it's the "best" method. So if the seller is offering a cheap 200 yen service and then also then 1000 yen "expedited" service or whatever, Buyee will always take the 1000 yen service, even if you flat-out tell them you do not want them to. It's a gigantic waste of money.
I believe Zenmarket does the opposite, they will do the cheapest local shipping method.

However, unlike Buyee where you pay one fee for combined shipping from the same seller on the same day, Zenmarket will charge per auction, even if you combine shipping from the same seller.

So like I said in my previous post, it makes comparing agents hard because no one is significantly better than the other (from my research). But I guess you could argue that they're the same because each agent has its own advantages and disadvantages that are offset by another agent's advantages and disadvantages so comparing is easy: just pick one. There's no eBay or Amazon version of agents (e.g. one that dominates the competition).
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Old Oct 11, 2020, 08:30 PM
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That sucks. Hopefully they can keep it until the planet overlords decide we can ship packages again.
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