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Buying DVDs from Japan

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Buying DVDs from Japan

Old 03-26-02, 07:34 AM
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Buying DVDs from Japan

There are quite a few of those English-subtitled Beam DVDs from Japan I would love to have (like Jigoku, Death Row Woman and the "Line" series), but I've never ordered from Japan before -- plus, the super-high prices and shipping have put me off so far. I think I'm finally ready to make the plunge, though, so does anyone have any suggestions of what places have the best service and prices (including shipping to the US)? Also, would it be much cheaper to actually pick these babies up in Tokyo (assuming one was already gonna be there)?
Old 03-26-02, 08:03 AM
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If you know the catalog numbers, you can buy the DVDs from Amazon japan. Just put the catalog number in the search engine (be warned that the site is entirely in Japanese). They have decent shipping prices and do not have a surcharge for international orders (and I'm pretty sure you don't pay the 5% Japan tax). www.amazon.co.jp

If you're in Tokyo, you might be able to purchase the DVDs used, so they would end up cheaper.
Old 03-26-02, 12:45 PM
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Yow - who woulda thought it? Used DVDs in Japan! Any idea of what shops might actually carry 'em? (I ask because there actually is a slight chance I'll be in Tokyo within the year)
Old 03-26-02, 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Gypo66
Yow - who woulda thought it? Used DVDs in Japan! Any idea of what shops might actually carry 'em? (I ask because there actually is a slight chance I'll be in Tokyo within the year)
I just went into some little shops in Shinjiku - I was looking for CDs, but many had DVDs as well. Hopefully you know some Japanese, or you'll have a hard time finding something. Having someone write out what you want in Japanese might help.
Old 03-26-02, 09:38 PM
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There are many shops which carry used DVD's but in Akihabara side.In Shinjuku I know a few shops.The titles are sometimes a bit different from the English ones.For Example The Mummy is called Hamunaptra and When were Soldiers is called Once and Forever.Starange tiles but if you remember the actors name or the direcvctor then can find the titles.
Old 03-26-02, 10:42 PM
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I've had good luck with cdjapan.co.jp, which has an English site. That and Amazon are, as far as I know, the only viable outlets for purchasing Japanese dvds online, though I'd love to learn otherwise. New Japanese dvds are simply more expensive, and are never priced below retail. Going to Tokyo may be your best bet to get a deal. Would that all of us had the option!
Old 03-27-02, 12:50 PM
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You may want to also look at

www.hmv.co.jp

also has an English translation of their site.

It may at least give you the catalogue numbers of items you want so that you
can order them from another (perhaps cheaper) etailer.
Old 03-27-02, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for all the good suggestions. So the sense I'm getting here here is that cdjapan is best for convenience and to some extent selection, but that Amazon. jp is probably at least somewhat cheaper (although it's impossible to know for certain since the site is only in Japanese)?
Old 03-27-02, 07:34 PM
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You should note www.hmv.co.jp only ships using Fedex, with the result that shipping costs Y1800 for 1-2 items and Y3000 for 3-5 items. Furthermore, they appear to have a policy of letting you cancel only if your order hasn't shipped by the scheduled shipping date.
Old 03-27-02, 08:48 PM
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Originally posted by Nocturnaloner
I've had good luck with cdjapan.co.jp, which has an English site. That and Amazon are, as far as I know, the only viable outlets for purchasing Japanese dvds online, though I'd love to learn otherwise. New Japanese dvds are simply more expensive, and are never priced below retail. Going to Tokyo may be your best bet to get a deal. Would that all of us had the option!
I must say In Shinjuku District the DVD's are 20% to 25% cheaper than the retail price,the price war has just begun,and I think its a matter of time before they start selling them cheaper.But none of this shops offer internet purchases for overseas!In Akihabara also the new DVD's are cheapers but not all!
Old 03-28-02, 07:19 PM
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Am I going crazy or has cdjapan restructured their international shipping rates so that they're now basically the same as Amazon.japan? I'm not sure if I'm reading the "new" pricing structure correctly, but shipping now seems almost identical between and cdjapan and amazon.japan (I finally was able to make some sense of the all-Japanese amazon site by using an online translation service). Anyway, each site now seems to charge about $20 to ship approx. 7 DVDs to the US. Does this sound right?
Old 03-28-02, 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by Gypo66
Thanks for all the good suggestions. So the sense I'm getting here here is that cdjapan is best for convenience and to some extent selection, but that Amazon. jp is probably at least somewhat cheaper (although it's impossible to know for certain since the site is only in Japanese)?
You can use the babelfish translator at altavista to get semi english at the Amazon Japan site. However, realize that it "falls apart" and won't work when you actually make an order, so you can use the translated site to browse, but go to the japanese site only to order.

And I assume you have the Japanese character set downloaded into your browser so that AT LEAST you get real hiragana/kanji as opposed to pure gibberish.
Old 03-29-02, 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by yentown
Amazon and hmv use fedex i think so you'll end up paying taxes 99% of the time - at least that's my experience.
Amazon uses DHL. I haven't been charged any taxes yet.
Old 03-30-02, 05:50 AM
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If CDJapan have lowered their exorbitant shipping rate
they could be an option again. Worth checking out www.amotokyo.com
who also ship EMS and itís free for orders of over $200 (not
difficult if youíre ordering Japanese titles!) Their site is also in
English and they are happy to take suggestions and will list up
titles pretty much by request. I asked them for the Tom & Jerry
sets (3 or 4 disc sets for $40) and they were on their site the next day!
Amazon.co.jp are a customs magnet and their site is frustrating
to navigate although they do work out cheaper and have a far greater
choice of product than other stores.

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