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It always hurts ordering books and magazines from Japan as many times even sal it's almost as much to ship as the magizine costs. Use to order from Amazon.jp as express shipping was like $6 for the first book and like $2-3 for each additional book. Then that went away and seemed to go only on weight like usual sal or ems. I just noticed usual mags like nine scale are now $9 shipping for the first and about $3 for each additional one here to the us. So maybe we will get our club bulk orders going again.



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Just ordered tomix catalogue from amazon.JP on wednesday night arrived in the UK on Saturday and I got it monday. Shipping was £10 but for £24 all in it is the cheapest by £6 (plaza Japan) also amazon make it very easy to ship out of japan . website in English plus an option to show only items that will ship out of Japan.recommened

Edited by Wildphill
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I have spotted a few items I want on Amazon.co.jp at very competitive prices; what's the ordering process like for international buyers? Shipping prices seem to quite good (900 yen) for international shipping. Plus I have the choice to mark my item as a gift (which it is- it's a gift for me!) to raise the VAT boundary or hopefully avoid it altogether.

What's it like in your experience?

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I set up am Amazon.jp account a long time back. They have an English option that puts the standard amazon stuff in English for the interface, but descriptions of items may still be in Japanese.

its really fast shipping for many thing, sometimes faster that ems! 

Use a credit card that does not charge international exchange fees (up to 3% now) to save some and use yen (this also works with hobby shops and paypal) as most cc when they charge you in your currency will either build that into the exchange rate (like paypal) they do or the cc will give you (if they do the exchange). You need to shop for a cc that does not charge for it.

many Amazon sellers in japan don't do international shipping, but enough do to make it an option! Lots of books available. Last one I did was about $9 shipping and was here in like 3 days.


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I've had great experiences with amazon.jp, usually ordering books but sometimes even finding models for cheaper prices or that are sold out elsewhere.  If the store in question doesn't ship to your country, Buyee has a google chrome plugin that will order the item on your behalf, then forward it to you.

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I've purchased many things through amazon.co.jp, which I often use in conjunction with a Tenso account for the products that can't be shipped directly.
If you get order a direct shipping, the 10% VAT will be removed from the price of the items, but you might have to pre-pay custom fees.
The direct shipping to France occurs via DHL which is awesomly fast. For example, I've ordered some artbooks on monday ; they were sent on thuesday and I received them today.
Sometimes you can get interesting prices for used trains ; but it's really nice to pre-order sets at a good price.

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Nariichi also did some Amazon forwarding for me for product that didn't ship outside Japan. Not sure if he is continuing this service nowadays though.


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Silly question, but does having an Amazon Prime membership in the US affect Amazon Japan at all?  i am guessing no, but wanted to double check.




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No. Amazon may seem like an international company, but for consumers like you and me they are totally different and any kind of plans (such as prime) do not carry over.

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as yavianice pointed out its all separate. But the shipping thru Amazon is very fast, usually using DHL to the states. Buying from other sellers thru Amazon.jp can give some other shipping times though. Even books show up in 2-4 days.



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Hi all, new to the forum, finding it very informative.
Bought the Tomix Catalog on amazon.co.jp, thought I'd share my experience.
TLDR; communication is a mix of english & japanese, multiple 'cost parts' but would use again.
The catalog was Y1465, apparently > Y2000 was free shipping so added some track at Y564.
When it came to check out, shipping was Y1984, there was also a €5 customs pre-charge.
So in total Y4656 or €36.23.
Exchange rate seemed consistent with what my card was getting when on holidays there a few weeks earlier.
Not very clear what made up the €5 (vat here is 23%), maybe it's a minimum,  also not clear how much shipping I'd get for Y1984.  I think I would experiment with a 'medium' order before placing a very large one.
Shipping was DHL tracked, placed the order late Thursday here (Friday in Japan), arrived on Tuesday.

emails from amazon are mostly in Japanese.

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Yeah I think the free shipping is only in japan. 


It does come wicked fast with Del to the us. The catalogs are a pain as they are very heavy. Use to be nice when an importer here in the states brought then over in his container shipments and sold and shipped book rate and the less than $20 shipped then!



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I used amazon.co.jp to buy a Glacier Express set - It was still cheaper total shipped than other sites that actually had stock of this item that I was able to search out (including suppliers listed in this sub-forum) but the shipping was pretty expensive (5466 yen) presumably because of the size of the box used to ship it (not the weight per say).

So I don't know if there are any tricks to getting a better shipping price through AMZ.CO.JP as I only saw one shipping option (and it came VERY quick - ordered Saturday and on my doorstep Tuesday morning in Orlando) but beware the shipping expense on something that seems to be a great deal (still $15-20 USD cheaper than the next closest seller in Japan)

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Not much on options for Amazon.jp to the states, it's Dhl express. Wicked fast but not cheap, especially for larger, heavier things.



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Though I have been looking at N-Scale trains for some 25 years or more, I am new to this world.  We were just in Japan and brought back a bunch of stuff (KATO mostly, a little Tomix), sourced at Yodobashi Umeda and the Joshin Super Kids land in Den Den town, as well as from Amazon Japan.  My wife is from the Osaka area originally and we visit her family every other year.   I've found some things on Amazon to be actually cheaper than Yodobashi or Joshin after the tax free and 5% Visa discounts even, and the shipping costs are ridiculously cheap for shipping that arrives in like 3 days to the US (ordered on Thursday night US time, and DHL brought two packages today, Monday, which is even a holiday).  I could have saved shipping if I had put the two items together instead of two separate orders, but that was my fault for finding more stuff I wanted...  


I have another package arriving tomorrow Wednesday per schedule, though the ones today were a day early so maybe it will come tomorrow.     It includes a double Kato set (the Sumikko Gurashi Yamanote line, which was really inexpensive on Amazon compared to Yodobashi Akiba, Yodobashi Umeda, and Joshin, which is for my daughter, a Sumikko Gurashi super fan), a KATO freight engine, a few KATO freight cars, and a bunch of different sets of Japanese containers from Tomix and Kato.  Total shipping is Yen 2860 for their standard international DHL, which in my mind is a super express, and cheap for international shipping.  And the item prices being cheap make up for the shipping costs.


Luckily I have my wife's mom and sisters in Japan so I ship things that Amazon or other places won't ship internationally to them, and they will (eventually) send them on to me.  So I have some light boards coming from KATO Hobby Center to them, and a bunch of decoders and stuff from Amazon being sent to them.  


Amazon seems to only ship stuff that they sell themselves internationally.  In my experience.  Other stuff, even Amazon fulfilled, PRIME capable inside Japan, they won't ship to my US address, just my MIL in Japan in my name.


While I was there I signed up for a 30 day Prime trial and did not cancel it in time so I have another month that cost me about $3.54 or so since they charge 400 yen a month or 3900 yen a year.  I'll cancel it before it renews next month, but in the mean time, I can get stuff sent using Prime to my MIL :)


It's almost too easy to get stuff sent over.   One more order being placed then I have to go on hiatus and actually set some stuff up beyond just kitchen table.

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I have an amazon.co.jp account (as we all should) and have my language within it set to English.  SO the various titles and descriptions of products are machine translated into English.  When perusing amazon.co.jp for KOKI wagons, some of them have some interesting "names" in their title.  Not on all KOKI but on many of them.


You can look them up yourself.


Here are some examples:


"(No container) <removed> vehicle 106 N Gauge (gray) 2769"


"TOMIX N gauge 8718 <removed> 107 (Gain 備型 Container without)"


"TOMIX N gauge 8717 <removed> 107 (without container, Taillight with)"


I am not sure we need a detailed explanation of why this is in this family forum, but obviously コキ has many meanings, or associations, and the good computers don't see anything wrong with the translations...


For some reason, I only see this with TOMIX KOKI :)


Edited by chadbag
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It’s not appropriate for the forum, but yes, there are “suggestive” shows and contests that include Japanese model trains and women that “forgot” most of their clothing. Japan is a very interesting place.


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  • chadbag changed the title to Funny humor from amazon.co.jp for KOKI models

One strange thing is sometimes the S&H (at least to the US) is inordinately high compared to a similar order/


For example, I have the KATO Seven Stars set pre-ordered and the shipping is some 1779 ¥   .   Very reasonable.     I also have the Tomix Hello Kitty 500 set pre-ordered.  The shipping is 4905 ¥  .   Both should be a single bookshelf case and have similar volume and weight in the same ballpark.  Same shipping method and both are due to be released the same day IIRC.  Yet the Tomix one is over 2.5x more in shipping costs.


Don't know what is up with Amazon's shipping.  I've had a few other orders where the shipping charge did not make sense compared to similar orders from them.   Anyway...

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2 hours ago, bill937ca said:

They hook you with a great price and then gouge you with shipping?  😩


But the heavy duty shipping is hit or miss.  Most of the time it is reasonable (until you get heavy or a large box).   I think that they have bad data on some items in regards to size or weight and their auto shipping determination system uses that bad data to make a bad shipping quote.


Because they take the 8% off their price, the price plus shipping is still competitive.   I don't know how much AmiAmi would charge for DHL level shipping for the Tomix Hello Kitty Shinkansen.   Anyone in the US have AmiAmi DHL experience?


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  • Densha changed the title to Amazon Japan

It seems like it‘s not possible but is there a way to order on amazon.jp without having a credit card? I‘d really like to get this since other shops and mail forwarders will apply horrendous shipping fees to Germany compared to ca. ¥4000 that amazon charges.


I‘d also greatly appreciate another source for this item where I maybe can pay with PayPal but still have reasonable shipping costs.


Thanks in advance.




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