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Just wrote this up for a buddy, and decided to go ahead and post it here so I can refer back to it when the question (inevitably) arises:

People in Japan, for whatever reason, don't really seem to use eBay a whole lot.
Could be the language barrier (eBay packed up their office and left Japan), or could
be other things. Anyway, they like to use Yahoo! Japan auctions. But, it's different
from what we're used to in the US. People (by and large) are not really enthusiastic
about shipping internationally, especially to a bunch of crazy Americans. And, they
usually don't take Paypal. They tend to want to be paid by a transfer directly from
your bank to their bank.

So, if you're gonna bid on cool stuff, and especially if you don't know a lot of
Japanese, a lot of people do it through an agent.

The site I use to bid on Yahoo is Celga:

http://www.celga.com/beta



I've used 'em for years. One reason I stay is that I have my own account
(through them) on Yahoo J, so I can actually rove around and place my own bids.
A lot of agents will actually place the bid for you, which some people
prefer. (You can't cancel bids on Yahoo J, so you can get into lots o'
trouble there.) Bad points: 'spensive (which, really, all of them are).
Also have heard stories of people (rarely) getting into conflicts with them.
Myself, I had one incident where a package to me was delivered to the wrong
customer, but the manager on the US side cleared it up (she's pretty cool).
Also, they've figured out how to ship ridiculous stuff like my surfboards over
here, which is kewl.

A site I recommend for people starting out or folks who would like some
help with Japanese translation is Rinkya:

http://rinkya.com/

They have a slick setup so you can search in English. I've never actually
used them as an agent, though seems like (from friends) they're about
as good or bad as the other agents. Several of the doll people also use
Shopping Mall Japan (I think it's just one word on the url).

There's one other service that another friend was using, because she found
it was cheaper. Can never recall the dang name though! I could ask
around if you'd like! (Daryl lists a couple of them - I'm coming to him
next.) One caution about using the smaller agent services, some of them
seem to go in and out of business as they burn out on dealing with so many
stupid Americans.

Finally, a lot of the folks who bid on anime cels are pretty fucking
hardcore and just go ahead and place their own damn bids. This is a
WONDERFUL tutorial for all of that:

http://www.ffmusic.info/yjtutorial.html

Dunno if he's kept it up to date (Yahoo reboots the look of their site
every year or so) but it's one of the best sources of info for Yahoo J.
I've tried placing my own bids a time or two, and just found it to be too
much bother. They've also changed around the rules, so I'm not even sure
if it's ok for us to register. Anyway, there's that.

Also, there's other, smaller auction boards than Yahoo J, like mbok, which
requires you to have a cell phone. You'll find info about these on the
other pages I've given you. But, you're probably nodding off by now, so
I'll cut this short.

Oh, and the other caution I give everybody: WARNING ADDICTIVE AND
$$$$$$$. But, you already knew that. :D

Comments

( 6 cousins babbled — babble away! )
dustbunnies
Sep. 25th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Omg they are so very $$$$$$. My current My Little Pony grail is a takara japanese my little pony. I found one earlier this year and hoped and prayed no one had bothered to search that week, but they did and it went up to like $200 or something crazy like that. It wasnt even minty, and you would of course have to pay all those fees. I wish I could have the Japanese language implanted into my brain.
tikistitch
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Were you looking for it on Yahoo Japan? Are they hard to find in Japan as well? I know next to nothing about MLP!!
dustbunnies
Sep. 26th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah it was on Yahoo Japan auctions. And I'm not sure if they are rare in Japan, but the thing is, they don't look like a My Little Pony. So its not something that if you found, you would automatically know what it was.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/greeniebone/967015801/

Its the one with the big round nose. I wish I knew someone in Japan who could just be on the look out for me. AH well.
tikistitch
Sep. 26th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's INSANELY cute! I wonder why they didn't go over in Japan - they *love* horses over there.
dunneh
Sep. 25th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
I'm no stranger to Auction Deputies. In my bid to get the best service, I've used Celga, Crescent Shop, Shopping Mall Japan, Ok!shon, FromJapan and lastly GoodyJapan.

About the only one I haven't used is Rinkya because they wouldn't let me sign up without a credit card charge, which I actually did--but then they wouldn't charge it without my photo ID because I have an AU card, so I didn't bother.

Anyway, I used to use Celga primarily especially in the past when I was more active in the doll community, but recently I had a small issue with them, so I don't really use them anymore.

I'm a big fan of Crescent Shop though and I keep going back to it. However, recently, I just tried GoodyJapan, and I was super impressed. He was fantastic balancing the entirety of my complicated order, and he didn't get confused at all, even though it took over 2-3 months to organize the shipment from the site, and as far as I can tell, it's just him doing it. And he remembers all deposits and lets you take them out of the total, unlike Crescent which makes you refund the deposit to then pay for shipping because it's automated. (Which incurrs a paypal fee of course) I would use GoodyJapan again for sure. :3
tikistitch
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Cool, this is exactly the feedback I was looking for! Peeps are always asking me about agents, and I really don't have much experience, other than with Celga. I'll have to tell people about GoodyJapan.
( 6 cousins babbled — babble away! )

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