Rich in its jealously preserved culture and famous for its gastronomy, respect, cleanliness, exceptionally beautiful landscapes and many other qualities, Japan is a country that inspires young and old alike. Manga culture attracts many followers around the world. Cosplay is a phenomenon that interests millions of young people and has even become a fad in its own right. This country has many large multinational companies to name but Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Panasonic and Mitsubishi.
The fashion world is no exception. The Japanese archipelago has, in fact, several recognized brands of clothing which have a certain head start on Western fashion. Although Japan affirms its desire to open up internationally, it remains an isolated country at the end of the world for many. It is therefore difficult to obtain these exclusive products unless you speak the Japanese language and live in the country. The solution is then to go through an intermediary for its purchases. Decryption.
Why is it difficult to find exclusive products in Japan?
Japanese products are synonymous with quality and innovation. Whether you are interested in the world of high-tech, fashion, mechanics, video games, cooking or other, you can buy a very wide choice of unique products in their kind and available only in the country. Rising Sun . However, it is not easy for foreigners to buy on Japanese merchant sites. Indeed, almost all of these sites are only available in Japanese. You must therefore master the language to be able to understand the operation of the site on which you want to make your purchases.
In addition, deliveries are made only to Japan for some merchants. You may also have difficulty with payment due to the fact that some sites only accept payment methods specific to the country . You will therefore not be able to use your credit card or your PayPal account. Also, you will have a hard time getting the information you need if you want to use customer support from these sites. Finally, if you buy limited edition products, you may need to be available at some point to complete your order. However, this is not obvious due to the time zones between Japan and France.
It is for all these reasons that it is necessary to use an intermediary to buy Japanese products. Several alternatives are available to you.
The proxy-buying service or proxy buying service
This concept involves entrusting a third party (a purchaser by proxy) with the purchase of a product on your behalf. The proxy buyer is a company specializing in the purchase of products on demand . The latter can thus purchase a wide choice of products on your behalf, whether or not it is available on its site. In general, the purchasing procedures offered by this type of company are quite simple and accessible to everyone.
This is a particularly interesting service when it comes to buying clothes from Japan. This gives you access to models that are impossible to find on the continent, whether they are shoes, outfits or accessories. If you are considering importing Japanese clothing for women, for example, all you have to do is find the products you want to buy, either by browsing the directory on the proxy buyer ‘s site or on another Japanese merchant site. Find all the best Japanese brands of women’s ready-to-wear , such as Uniqlo, Spiral Girls, Métamorphose Temps de Fille or even Heather! Then you give the links to the pages where you found the products you want to buy. You will then get a quote.
After your validation, your proxy buyer proceeds to the purchase of your products . When the purchasing department receives your package, you will receive a notification. You can then choose the shipping method that suits you. The buyer takes a commission on each product purchased. So in total, you have to pay the commission of the buying service, the shipping cost and the price of the product. Using a proxy buying service will inflate the price of the product you want to buy. However, this is the best solution if you want to purchase specific products.
Some buyers allow you to combine several products and bring them together in a single package . This will give you several weeks to collect all the products you want to ship. There are several companies specializing in proxy purchasing in Japan. Among them, the Neokyo company, which offers one of the cheapest commission rates on the market.
Also known as Forwarders, freight forwarding services are another alternative to purchasing exclusive Japanese products. It’s also a more affordable solution since their services are restricted to picking up packages from a Japanese mailbox on your behalf. Once your products are received, the forwarder ships them directly to your home.
By choosing this solution, you have to take care of your purchases yourself . You will place your orders using the postal address provided to you by your freight forwarder. If you are doing well with the Japanese language, then freight forwarding services are a viable option for you. However, you should only choose sites that accept foreign payment methods .
On the other hand, if you are buying products from an individual such as home décor or clothing, or if you are buying by auction, it is best to use a proxy buying service. Indeed, you will have a little trouble in these two situations since you will need to interact with the resellers.
The different possibilities for sending parcels from Japan
When you have chosen your products, you will need to choose the shipping method for your package. You will then have the choice between Japanese postal services and private carriers. The duration of the expedition varies depending on whether it is done by air or by sea.
The different international shipping methods offered by the Japanese postal services are:
- Express Mail Service;
By opting for Japanese postal services, you will have to wait for a period of one week to three months depending on your budget . If you are in a hurry to receive your package, opt for the service of a private carrier such as Fedex, DHL or UPS. Note that you will have to pay VAT and administration fees as well as customs fees depending on the value of your package at the time of delivery.