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05 January 2012 @ 06:25 pm
Rabid fangirl just got a VISA card! A little help for the online shopping newbie please? :o)  
Hello everyone! ^o^

Well, as the title says I've recently received my very own VISA card for the first time in my life and I would really like to make use of it for buying various Bleach merchandise! Until I become completely poor and get my VISA card cancelled by my bank and banned from opening any other cards...ever again...

Unfortunately, until now I have only been able to follow Bleach and its world online. The reason being is because very VERY few people in my country know what manga and anime are, and there is absolutely no place in the country to buy any of these things. And so, since I never had any kind of payment card before and no steady income, I couldn't buy anything online either. T.T

BUT, things have changed now and it's time to support Kubo by returning the love and buying things legaly so that Bleach gets the support that it deserves!

So, I have a few questions for those of you who buy stuff online:

Could you please recommend some websites that sell anime and manga and cute Japanese stuff and what not? It is not of course only limited to Bleach, I mean stuff from the anime and manga world in general. And also, if you have any tips for a first time buyer and VISA card user I would really appreciate it. As a first purchase, I will of course buy something small like a keychain just to get the hang of things and see how this whole online shopping thing works, since I haven't bought anything online before. In the future (when I get the hang of it a little bit), my goal is to buy the Bleach volumes because I really want them!

Just FYI in case it is important, my VISA card is one where I cannot get into debt, because I can only spend the amount that I actually pay into the card's account. Also, I am European. :o)

Thank you so much for all the help in advance! I am sorry if this perhaps does not belong in this community, but I felt that people here would know their Bleach stuff and be able to help me out?

Thank you so much once again, I really look forward to reading people's comments! :o)

Current Mood: excitedexcited
Laura Bryannanlaurabryannan on January 5th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Every doujinski I ever bought I bought on ebay. That's one place to start.
anostiana on January 5th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the idea! :)
ore-samathesundaywriter on January 5th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
I second the ebay rec, and I've also gotten some from various communities' selling posts. It really depends whether you're looking to buying original merchandise, if so you need to study the product and shop's reputation. I've used Japamart to get stuff from Yahoo!Japan Auctions, it's pricey but reliable. You might also like to try Jlist and google for reviews on different shops and shopping services, I learned by doing that. Also you don't really need a credit card for all shops, I've been buying merch even without one.

Edited at 2012-01-05 05:54 pm (UTC)
anostiana on January 5th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm gonna go check out the Yahoo!Japan Auctions. :o)
(no subject) - mezzo_marinaio on January 5th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dr. Rusty Shacklefordaweofshe on January 5th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
Might want to get a Paypal account if you don't already have one. You can add your VISA card there as a funding source. :)

I don't know any European websites for anime/manga, but I always buy things from Amazon since you get free shipping over a certain amount...the rest of the things I buy are from Yahoo!Japan auctions and eBay. @@

rightstuf.com has a lot of items and think they ship internationally...their bargain bin prices are tempting.
anostiana on January 5th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :o)
blue_eyesgirl: :Dblue_eyesgirl on January 5th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
CDJapan is usually cheaper than YesAsia but, I find, by the time you pay for shipping it works out as more.

And if you're in the UK or Germany (though I'm assuming not if no-one in your country knows about anime/manga), then you've got no chance of running into customs charges with YesAsia. They also do free shipping if you spend a certain amount and don't split your order.

There's also HMV Japan if you're after CDs/DVDs but you can quite easily get charged customs for them as they will label the customs form properly (I ordered from them once and ended up paying half again to cover VAT and admin charges >>)

Rakuten <-- mostly second hand things I believe. I've bought a doujinshi from them before.

I've only ever used YesAsia and HMV JP but I also know of the following places:
JBOX also have 18+ site JList

There's also several shopping services about that will help you buy through sites that only ship within Japan. It usually goes price of goods + commission on goods price + shipping to them + shipping to you
anostiana on January 5th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely reply! I will check them all out and see which one I like best. Although I can always compare item and shipping prices and pick the one I like most. Thank you! :)
bleachcenter on January 5th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Very cool! I got a Visa this year after I got my first job (I'm a college student btw). And then I quit....so my card' been sorta inactive as I don't want to spend anything (a.k.a. I'm being a miser XD).

I do understand the wariness of shopping online, because it's really easy to go to some crazy site and have everything stolen from you. I've always used Amazon for the stuff that everyone has (i.e. Bleach Volumes), partly because college students can get a free year of Amazon Prime (a.k.a. free shipping). I've never used eBay before, but from what I've heard, it's supposed to be pretty good. The only qualm I have with it, is the PayPal account. Although I've only heard good things about it online (since everyone uses it), my dad had a lot of problems with it so I've been wary of using it. Of course, I'm not too sure what really went down, so I wouldn't put too much weight in my statement.

Overall, I didn't really help much. But just thought I should post and say that I relate. :] Good luck!
anostiana on January 5th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about it! ^.^

So far, people have told me that CDJapan, YesAsia and Amazon are my best options. I have a problem with PayPal because my country doesn't have a deal with them, so if I use them online (I've checked this just now) they charge me extra. This of course makes sense since my country doesn't have a deal with them, but I don't want to pay more so ebay is out. :)
(no subject) - bleachcenter on January 6th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shinebunny on January 5th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bleachcenter on January 6th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kuboism on January 6th, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
never give up!  ৵  never surrender!loquaciousquark on January 6th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
I don't really have a whole lot of Bleach-specific advice, but I would definitely suggest overall just being careful where you use your card. It sounds so obvious, but it's still worth saying, especially since this is your first card: avoid giving your personal information to websites that look shady, unprofessional, or have thousands of pop-up ads all over the place. I'd definitely recommend using a bigger, safer online business at first like Amazon or eBay until you're sure you know what you're doing, since those businesses have well-established customer service complaint departments you can go to for recourse if, heaven forbid, something goes wrong.

THAT SAID: online shopping is so easy, and I'm sure you're going to love being able to buy from all over the world. Enjoy!
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the tips, I will be careful online! :)
Phoenix Hawk's Deep Corefmphoenixhawk on January 6th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
Not sure where in the world you are, but JList (www.jlist.com) has a good selection, both of anime and general Japanese goods (They have flavored KitKats, as an example..) Otherwise, I suggest eBay (Get PayPal. They may be jerks at times, but they do have a great insurance setup.) and Yahoo!Japan. Also, RightStuf (Rightstuf.com) has a good selection of DVDs that aren't always on Amazon. Finally, try to hit some conventions. Not just anime conventions, but gaming conventions. One of the best deals I got was this past summer, the entire Lucky Star series for $15.
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! XD
林: Hyper Rukiahaya5h1 on January 6th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
I would really recommend to be careful about eBay... lately I find the bootlegs there outnumber the genuine merchandise. Be especially wary of sellers in China and Taiwan and sad to say my home country Malaysia, where a lot of sellers buy bootleg stocks from China...=.=; That said, there are some genuine finds to be had on ebay, and if the price sounds too good to be true, you can always look up the prices of the genuine items on places like HobbyLink Japan (hlj.com).

Depending on what you're looking for here are my recommendations for online shops:
* Play-Asia.com - Video games (Japanese and US versions), Japanese DVDs & CDs, toys sometimes (they sell out really fast); I find they're cheaper than Yesasia
* amiami.jp - Toys & figurines (very nice discounts for preorders!)
* CDJapan.co.jp - CDs, DVDs, toys, figures, books, manga

If you are after rare stuff on the secondhand market like Yahoo!Japan auctions, I would recommend using a shopping service. I've been using ShoppingMallJapan.com for the past eight years to get everything from figures to Burimyu tickets.:D They also can help you buy from Y!J auctions and online shops that don't ship overseas like Animate. They do charge fees for their services, but I find they are the lowest among all of the different shopping services so far. They're also really friendly and answer questions very fast! I can recommend them with confidence!:)

And I second (third/fourth/fifth:) all the suggestions to get a Paypal account. I gather that you have a debit card rather than a credit card, so some shops may not accept it - but all the ones I mentioned above take Paypal. It also gives you a certain amount of protection from flaky sellers.

Hope that helps!
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
That is a VERY lovely list of websites, thank you so much!

Btw, how doeas one shop at Yahoo!Japan if they aren't fluent in Japanese? Is there a way around that or do you just get used to it?
(no subject) - haya5h1 on January 6th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
dlvrdlvr on January 6th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
I've been shopping on-line for thirteen years and have only had things go wrong three times, but all three times I had payed with Pay-pal and they refunded my money. I would strongly suggest you re-consider not getting an account with them, think of the surcharge as insurance against being ripped-off.

If you want your manga in English, you can't go past bookdepository.co.uk, They have a 25% discount on pre-orders and free shipping worldwide, gotta love free shipping. They currently have 26% off some of the early Bleach volumes too! I've bought a lot of books from them and never had a problem.

Good luck and enjoy your shopping.
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
OMG that bookdepository website is AMAZING!!! O.O Thank you so much for telling me about it!
Vayshti: bleachvayshti on January 6th, 2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
I haven't got any extra info to add - but I've been loving the replies you've got. Will have to file this post away for reference.

Thanks so much for posting it!
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
No problem, I'm glad that someone else is finding the post useful! XD
kuboism on January 6th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely certain that Kubo gets money from merchandise sold that is other than volumes. My bread and butter websites are Amazon and Ebay. I'm a seasoned online shopper and seller and I've had things go wrong for me twice. once I kept being overdrafted by paypal for a period of 2-3 months, and another time I sold a rare game and never got the money because I couldn't prove that I sent it. These risks are real and in this day an age, they are a part of the online business of doing transactions with people you don't meet in person and honestly don't know.

As other people said, the best way to avoid my issues is to use legitimate sites like Ebay and Amazon to learn the ways of the online world. I'd even suggest using them exclusively for at least 6 months or after buying alot of stuff.

The card you are describing sounds like a debit card, in which you can put money from your personal account. This is what I use for online purchases as well, but if you have a dispute with an online retailer or get scammed, once your money is gone, it is GONE. Banks can't do much about lost money from your account and will reimburse very little.

However, if you use a credit card, a dispute can be made with the company and they will be ALOT more co-operative with you, since it's credit that is lost and not money. I'm not sure how disputes work in Europe, but that's how it works here. I've also read that it's probably not wise to use debit cards online and that it's better to use credit because of the reasons I just typed.

I have a little sister (also an anime fan) who is now learning the ropes of the online machine as well :)
anostiana on January 6th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you very very much for the advice! I will double check everything with my bank once again before I start shopping. When I was opening my VISA account I specifically stated that I wanted one which would be best for online shopping and they said that this particular VISA type card would be best for online fraud protection and what not. However, since I am stil new at this and haven't bought anything yet, as I said, I will start with something small and cheap just to see how everything works.

Oh really? I thought Kubo made money off of anything that has to do with Bleach because he thought of the story and the characters and everything. I guess I was wrong. But I do plan on getting the Japanese volumes since I can read and speak Japanese pretty well so I guess I can help him that way? :)

Yeah, Amazon looks really legit to me right now so I think that my first purchase will be from there after I do a little research on the current sellers. :)
(no subject) - kuboism on January 6th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anostiana on January 6th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 7th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
I've been shopping online a while-- since 1999. I've only been scammed three times, and it was all through ebay (but I got my money back via paypal each time).

I would say that if you plan to buy through ebay, I would only do it through the paypal account. You can still use the card, but make sure you're logged in to your account so it records the transaction in your history, etc. This is because of the buyer protection you get through paypal (if you get it in your country), and also because on ebay there is a big risk of things going wrong (there are lots of counterfeits, flaky sellers, packages often go missing, etc). So the buyer protection and the ability to make a dispute with paypal is more valuable (and easier) than creating a dispute or reversal on a credit card. Like I said, all the times things have gone wrong with buying it has been through ebay. But It's still only 3 times out of 100+ transactions, though. But if it wasn't for paypal, I wouldn't have gotten my money back, though. In the case of ebay, the wisest piece of advice I can give you is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Then again, I've seen counterfeits listed at higher prices to make them seem legitimate when they aren't, so do be careful. Ebay has good bargains though and is often cheap.

That said, I wouldn't worry too much about shopping online. Common sense is your best friend. I also have a debit card, and I made sure that it's on a separate account to my main money account-- so that I only transfer the amount of money for the transaction I want. I also have my card set to automatically decline if the account has no money. So for example, if I want to buy a $5 key chain, I transfer $5 to my debit card account, and then do the transaction. Even if they steal my number, the card declines when the account has used up the money. My bank also has a anti-fraud service where they ring my phone if they detect unusual transactions on my card (lots of money charged or sudden overseas transaction). It's worth looking into if your bank also has this service for your card, and what kind of anti-fraud measures they have in place because that will also protect you if things go wrong. If they don't have any then you know to be more cautious with your card.

Keeping mental track of what you buy also helps so you don't lose track of transactions. As well as making sure you often check your bank statements for unusual transactions you didn't do. That way if you see something wrong you can catch it early.

Secondly, when buying always make sure the website is secure and it has a security code/lock symbol on the transaction/checkout page where you type in your number and buy your item. Often sweep your computer with an anti virus and anti spyware devices to make sure it's free of keyloggers or trojans.

As for websites, I recommend
1999.co.jp/eng (they're great)
Yesstyle (for fashion stuff)

www.play-asia.com (never bought from them, but they have Bleach stuff)

I actually don't recommend Jlist at all. As they always seem to get my order wrong. They have left out an item 3 out of 6 times. I had to contact them, but it was hard to fix and they made me feel like it was my fault or as if I was lying or something.

Hobby Search (1999.co.jp) on the other hand is great. Once, they accidentally sent me the wrong style so I contacted them and told them-- and they actually had the big tsunami the same day, like a few hours later. So I wrote to them again saying, 'don't worry about my last email, I hope everyone is fine' -- and he actually replied the same day thanking me for my support and the kind words, and that they were sorry and he'd send the correct one ASAP and I could keep the incorrect one. And they did. They sent it as soon as mail service was back up in Japan. So I highly recommend them. It helps they give lots of shipping options other than EMS which can be expensive. But often, you need to use paypal with them because their checkout is a bit funny (you order, and then they send you an invoice later).

So... yeah. I hope that helps a bit. :D
anostiana on January 7th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
Excellent advice is excellent! Thank you so much! XD