Yahoo! Japan Buying Guide
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.
Searching Yahoo Japan also requires that search terms be in Japanese. 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!
How do you buy from Yahoo Japan?
You will have to use a third-party in order to purchase from Yahoo Japan. Almost all sellers will not ship outside of the country, and you must have a Japanese bank account to pay. They do not use paypal.
If you have a Japanese contact, you can work out a deal with that individual. There are many deputy services that will purchase items for you, but they can have tricky fees. This guide is to help you understand these fees.
Two of the most popular deputy services are Rinkya and Celga. Yes, there are many more, but I see these two used more than others. I have used both services, and I prefer Rinkya. Sometimes the fees with Rinkya can be higher, but their automatic bidding service can make it worth the money.
Both services have their own exchange rates that they use. Make sure you check this rate before you purchase. It is subject to change.
How does bidding work with a deputy service?
With Celga, you must fill out an order form in order to bid on an item. I have noticed that it may take them a few hours to place your bid since their system is completely manual. If your auction is going to end soon, there is a good chance they will not make your bid in time. They also wait until the just before the close of the auction if they confirm your bid in time.
With Rinkya, they use 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 and Celga require that you make a deposit. Celga requires the amount you wish to bid. Rinkya wants a percentage. They both require that you authorize a credit card on your account.
What do the deputy services 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.
Deputy service commission - This is the most difficult to understand fee. This is the deputy service’s charge for bidding on the auction for you. Both services charge a different amount depending upon how much the auction ended for.
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. This applies to each individual auction. They also have a $40 flat commission fee for items between 40,000 and 100,00 yen. Any items over 100,000 yen receive a $60 discount.
Celga charges a flat rate of $5 for items up to 1,000 yen. For 1,001 yen up to 10,000 yen, the commission is $10. The fee increases by $10 for ever 10,000 yen.
Handling fee - This is the fee of shipping the item from the seller to the deputy service. Rinkya combines tax and bank fees into the handling fee. It is a flat $15 free unless the combined fees exceeds $15. After that, you just pay the difference. Celga is a case by case basis.
International Shipping - This is the cost of shipping the item from the deputy service to you. Both services will hold items for you for a reasonable amount of time for other items to be received 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. 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 three shipping methods. From slowest to fastest they are Surface Mail, SAL/Airmail, and EMS. Most of my shipments have been $15 - $25 using EMS to ship to the Midwest of the US. These have been smaller boxes, however, so keep that in mind.
How does second-in-line bidding?
Second-in-line bidding is when you wish to bid on something that another customer of the deputy service 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.
Celga gives the auction to the bidder that has the winning bid in their range. For instance, if bidder A bid 1,000 yen and bidder B bid 2,000 yen, an auction that ends at 1,500 would go to bidder A. There can even be a third-in-line and beyond. They also will not allow you to raise your bid if you are first-in-line if there is someone second-in-line.
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 fees. Celga is a little more hazy on how much they will charge. They ultimately decide what fees they will combine at their discretion. Rinkya will combine your all your handling fees.
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.