- How to save on importing Pokemon cards.
- Saving calculator:
So, you’re looking at how to buy Pokemon cards from Japan? But did you know you can buy Japanese cards from Amazon Japan no matter where you live?
Plus you don’t have to worry about extra import fees and save some money?
Yes, all of that is real, and thanks to Amazon International Shipping Program [orders can be shipped to more than 65 countries/regions that participate in the Amazon Global program]. This program allows you to save a lot of money and in many cases is better than buying from eBay.
How to save on importing Pokemon cards.
Because you’re prepaying all import costs and skipping many extra fees like the handling fee set by for example Royal Mail which is £8 in the UK, in the US handling fee for USPS is about $6. On Amazon Japan you’re paying for the item, shipping cost [which includes a small amount of their handling cost, basically this is how they name packing, etc] plus you have import fees deposit – this is very convenient because this amount isn’t big, this is pre-paid by you so your carrier can deliver the parcel to you. This includes Import fees, vat, and everything else that is needed for your order to be delivered to you. Amazon Japan uses DHL for International Deliveries. So from the date of shipping, you can expect your parcel very quickly. Plus if you have a big order that is coming from different warehouses, you can expect your order split – but shipping cost, and fees, stays the same [but in rare situation it can be slightly different]. So no worries about this.
Before I show you how to create an account and what you can buy, let me do quick math.
So you decide to buy something, already I explained to you how this looks and I told you that in most the cases this is cheaper than eBay and everything else.
For example, you want to buy Pokemon TCG Tag Bolt GX Booster Box SM9
Amazon Japan sells it for about ￥ 3,985 [about $36/£30] [price may vary, depends on the day, promotion, seller]
The same booster box on eBay from Japan costs about $55-$60 / £42-£46 [with free shipping]
From a random Japanese Anime shop ￥ 4,500 [about $44/£34]
If you add on top of that: shipping + VAT [this needs to be calculated in total with shipping cost], handling fee from your local post, other import costs [depends on your local law and your order total amount] – this will be expensive.
Let’s say you’re in the UK, if you consider placing an order from eBay it will cost you about £43 + VAT [£8.6] + Royal Mail Handling fee £8 = the total amount is £59.60
If you get the same box from Amazon Japan even for a price of ￥ 4,000 [about £29] + shipping and import fees deposit you’ll pay about £43
So quickly you can save £16.60 – this is a huge amount of money you can spend on a 2nd box or something else.
So you want to buy something from Amazon Japan and you’ve always been worried about language, costs, etc.
You can ask me, how can I make a purchase on Amazon Japan, which is Japanese? I don’t know this language.
Don’t worry, you’re covered. Amazon Japan offers an English version of their website and at the same registration, your account and even support are offered in the English language. So this is easy, don’t worry about anything.
How to create an account on Amazon Japan
When you launch Amazon Japan for the first time, this is what you’ll find:
Yes, everything is covered in the Japanese language.
What you have to do is to click language selector [available on top of a website] – a small globe icon with language code. Then choose English – Please refer to the image below for a hint:
Now you have a website in English.
It wasn’t difficult, right?
Ok, what’s next? Just click on “Hello, Sign in Account & Lists” and click “Create your Amazon account”
Now you should easily create your account.
Ah, I forgot, you can not use your UK, US, or any other Amazon account on Amazon Japan.
This is a separate website from all of them and you won’t be able to use your regular credentials on it. This is how that works. But you can use the same email address if you want.
The next step is easy, you have to fill standard Amazon registration form, set your login, and password and you’re ready to go.
How to buy Pokemon cards from Japan (Amazon)
How do you make a purchase and purchase products available for international buyers?
Yes, not everything is available for International Shipping. Plus some items may be sent from 3rd party sellers, which means you have to worry about ordering from them, why?
Because these products are not shipped from an Amazon warehouse and 3rd party sellers are the same person as a seller on eBay. They offer International shipping but their cost is higher and if this exceeds a limit for orders free from import costs in your country, you will finish paying import costs on your own [vat, handling, etc, but if someone marks it as a gift, you can slip through them – but I would be careful about that, customs workers are careful too]
So how can I distinguish items available for Amazon International Shipping from 3rd party sellers?
At first, try to search on Amazon for something, for example, the “Pokemon” phrase.
Go to the left sidebar with filters and at the end of it, you should find the “International Shipping International” checkbox. Just check: Shipping Eligible
All results will be filtered. This is the easiest way to do that.
A more complicated method is when you browse many items that are difficult to find via filtering when you browse some sellers or use Japanese in search – yes, you can search in English and Japanese, and many times when you put Japanese words, you have a better chance of finding what you’re looking for.
Some examples: Pokemon – ポケットモンスター or Pikachu – ピカチュウ
Remember that this isn’t limited to Pokemon, you can try anything.
Ok, let’s move to the next point that will help you find products with shipping available for you.
For example, some upcoming TCG set.
Let’s say you’re looking for an upcoming Pokemon SM11a Name for this set is “Remix Bout” – this set will be released on July 5, 2019
On the product page in the right sidebar you can find this information: “This item can be delivered to the UK – Mainland” [if you live in a different country, please look for your country name]
Also as you can see this item is Pre-order and Ships from and sold by Amazon Japan, not a third-party seller.
If some item is not available for shipping to your location, you will find this information: “This item does not ship to your selected location”
But, also you can end up with nothing. No info about shipping. What you can do?
Simply add this product to your basket, and find out if you can order it and what shipping option is offered for it.
If an item will not be available for shipping you can delete it from your basket and check other sellers or other items.
There are two other statuses I said about but forgot to show you and tell you about.
Product sold by 3rd party seller and fulfilled by Amazon. This means the product is available for the Amazon International Shipping program but sold by 3rd party seller. Sometimes at first this needs to be shipped by the store to the Amazon warehouse or is available in a warehouse.
Then you can find this information:
The last one is an item sold by 3rd party seller but not fulfilled by Amazon Japan. As you can see shipping cost is next to the product price. Plus information about 3rd party sellers. This isn’t fulfilled by Amazon.
Ok, this is it.
I hope all the basic information has been covered here. If I missed something or you’d like to know more and have some questions, please ask them in a comment section or ask via Social Media, like Twitter.
I’m always happy to help.
Buying Anime figures, Pokemon gadgets from Amazon Japan
At the end of this guide, I have for you a few more details.
On Amazon Japan, you can buy everything. Not only Pokemon TCG but Anime figures, movies, Manga, gadgets, etc.
You’re not limited to only these categories. This is a good place to buy some stuff for home, as a gift, for cooking, etc, plus you can find here many promotions and special offers.
Be careful about Amazon Prime -there are no benefits for International buyers.
Occasionally you can find some tiny promotion for an item or two where the price is available only for Prime members, but to be honest never anything special. Feel free to try it but don’t keep it.
But if you’re located in Japan or you’re on a holiday, then you can benefit from it.
Amazon Japan Support – if you have any questions. Just ask them. They respond within a few hours 12 to 24. Support is in English and helpful. But sometimes you may find some responses like a bot response but this is if you ask many questions and get some big issues. Personally, I had delivery issues but with DHL – they can find sometimes an excuse to double-check content and check if you can import specific items to your country. But this is rare. Always easy to get the parcel on move very quickly.
I had a one-time issue while ordering some candy stuff that Amazon allowed but DHL said it is not possible to import them with DHL out of Japan to my country [UK], weird but it happened one time and Amazon at some point took them from export. Besides, that one issue was when DHL tried to make me pay import costs, customs, etc but I had them pre-paid via Amazon Japan. I fixed that by forwarding it to the DHL invoice, few days later they delivered a parcel to my door without issue. This wasn’t an Amazon issue, looked like DHL lost including paper to parcel, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed, and even Amazon was helpful with that.
So now let me show you some of the best deals you can get if you’re looking for Pokemon TCG Japanese cards, gadgets, etc.
Buying upcoming Pokemon Japanese sets
Previous Pokemon Japanese sets
Buying Games, Super Mario gadgets, amiibo, and other gadgets
As you can see Amazon Japan is one of the best places if not the best place to buy Japanese pokemon cards as well as other TCGs, including Dragon Ball, Digimon, and gadgets from Pokemon Center Japan. You don’t have to look at services or other websites which let you import Pokemon cards from Japan. Now you can do it on your own, buying Pokemon cards never was easier.
If you like this type of guide, let me know if there is something specific you’re interested to read like stores review, guides on how to buy from Japan – but specific products, where to buy, etc.
I will be providing you with more information about other services at some point, for example, proxy services that let you buy everything, even from local shops not available online, but for a small amount of fee.