This guide is to help those who are new to purchasing from Yahoo! Japan. If you live outside of the country, you will not be able to purchase from the auctions, as they require a Japanese bank account, and a Japanese shipping address. Sellers on YJP do not use Paypal, and they will not ship internationally. So how can you purchase from YJP if you live internationally? You can use a deputy service.
The deputy service I use is Rinkya. I do not know the minute details of other bidding services, so the following information will pertain to Rinkya only.
If you choose to purchase something from Yahoo! Japan after reading this guide, please note, I am not responsible for any fees you incur that you were not aware of. I have created this guide just as a quick reference to help others understand, but Rinkya’s policies could change at anytime.
Many people wish to buy from Yahoo Japan, because you can usually get better deals on rarer Japanese Tamagotchis. However, when making a purchase without fully understanding the system, you can often get quite a shock once all the fees are in place.
If you choose to search for an item using the search tool, you need to use the Japanese characters. I normally use Google translate for my search terms, but they do not always translate correctly. You might find yourself searching through every page of Tamagotchis before you find the one you are looking for. Be sure to translate a listing’s name for future searches! I tend to use the browse function rather than searching.
How do you buy from Yahoo Japan?
You will have to use a third-party deputy service to bid and receive the item for you. This guide uses Rinkya.
All deputy services have tricky fees. While Rinkya is one of the more complicated services, their automated bidding system can really help you win the items you are after, since it will automatically bid for you. Services like Celga use live people to bid for you, and they could bid at any time. They also may not bid in time for an auction if there isn’t much time left.
Rinkya has their own exchange rate that they use. This is the rate they will use to calculate what your purchase amount will convert to from the Yen amount of your end price on the auction. Make sure you check this rate before you purchase. It is subject to change, but it always listed at the top of the page.
How does bidding work with a deputy service?
Rinkya uses an automated system. If you bid on an item, their systems will instantly put the bid in for you. This is equivalent to bidding on Yahoo Japan yourself. Rinkya requires that you authorize a credit card on your account. This will not actually charge you, but your bank may hold the funds for a few days.
What does Rinkya charge?
This is the trickiest part of a deputy service, and the thing that confuses buyers the most. They list the fees on their sites, but it can be very difficult to understand. I will try to explain as best as I can and hopefully paint a better picture.
Purchase price - This is the amount you bid on the item. You bid in yen, so make sure you use their conversion rate to know how much you are bidding.
Bank fee - Yahoo Japan auctions use bank transfers to pay and receive. These transfers are not free like with paypal purchases. Almost all sellers will add on the bank fee to your final purchase price.
Commission - This is the most difficult to understand fee. This is the deputy service’s charge for bidding on the auction for you. You can calculate the commission that Rinkya will chare using their Commission Calculator.
Rinkya is a $15 base commission fee for auctions over 1,000 yen, and $1 for each additional 1,000 yen after that. Auctions 1,000 yen and under have free commission. Items between 40,000 and 100,00 yen, have a flat-rate of $40. Any items over 100,000 yen receive a $60 discount. (These prices are in USD.)
Handling fee - This is the fee of shipping the item from the seller to the deputy service. Rinkya combines tax, bank fees, and internal shipping (shipping from the YJP seller to the Rinkya warehouse) into the handling fee. It is a flat $15 free unless the combined fees exceeds $15. After that, you must pay whatever extra the seller charges Rinkya.
International Shipping - This is the cost of shipping the item from the deputy service to you. Rinka will hold items for you for 60 days in order to save money on shipping. There is no flat fee for international shipping. This fee is difficult to estimate. You will not found out what it is until you request to ship it, then you are required to pay whatever the amount is. It is best to ship multiple items together in order to save on shipping. Be aware that a single Tamagotchi might cost $15 to ship. There are also seven shipping options to choose from. From slowest to fastest they are Cheapest Method (Excluding SEA), Cheapest Method (including SEA), SEA, SAL, Small packet, EMS, and Rinkya Prime. Rinkya Prime is the fastest and most expensive. It uses FedEx, but is the most secure. I usually request EMS shipping, so that it isn’t too long for my items, and they are tracked and insured. Rinkya will also upgrade my shipping to Rinkya Prime automatically if it ends up being cheaper than EMS. I use these methods, because I usually ship around 60 items at a time. Please use the method you are most comfortable with.
What is internal bidding?
Internal bidding is when you wish to bid on something that another customer of Rinkya has bid on. The service will not tell you the maximum bid placed by the other bidder, but if your bid exceeds their maximum bid, then you will win the item even at bidder A’s maximum bid. For instance, if bidder A bid 1,000 yen and bidder B bid 2,000 yen, bidder B would win the auction even if the auction ended at 500 yen and would pay 1,000 yen. Sales offers like no commission on auctions 1,000 yen and under no longer apply on internal bidding.
What is the same seller, same day discount?
If you purchase multiple items from the same seller, and the auctions end on the same day, you can get a discount on your handling fees. Rinkya will combine your all your handling fees. You will only pay more if the handling for all your items exceeds $15.
I hope this guide has helped many of you understand how the process works and the many fees involved. I will update this as questions are asked and new information needs to be listed.