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 Post subject: Guide: Ordering Books from Japan using a Courier Service
Post #1 Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:14 pm 
Lives in sente
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Before I get into ordering books from Japan, if anyone has tips for ordering books from Korea or China, I would appreciate if you share tips. I have found it impossible to order books from Korea.

Also, if there is a better section for this post, please move it

On another thread ( I learned of a few Japanese books on Honinbo Shuwa. One is new and available on so that is easy. But the other two that I really wanted were older and out of print. One book for Shuwa by Masao Sugiuchi is in the "Japanese Go Survey" series and the other book for Shuwa is by Masaaki Fukui in the "Famous Go Games" series. I had previously looked for books on Shuwa but had no luck searching for his name. Luckily I had people directing me with author names and so I was eventually able to figure this out. My thanks to John Tilley and John Fairbairn.

My first problem was looking at the wrong place. and are just too big. There are too many irrelevant results. Though once I had found the exact names of the books I was able to discover third party sellers of some books. Instead, older Japanese books can easily be found on the Yahoo Japan auction site and on "Mercari." New stuff pops up all the time. You can even buy autographs and things like that. But you need a "courier service". There are many of these but the one I used was "Buyee" Obviously I don't work there but I had a decent experience and so I will share with you. If you search online you'll find others that did OK and use it constantly while some people think its a scam. The main problem is that the original sellers might be shady, same as anywhere.

The first thing to do is to figure out how someone's name is spelled in Japanese. You can use Sensei's Library for most people. There is the GoGoD Name Dictionary too. There are also Go terms at Then, like I mentioned, search on Yahoo Japan or Mercari. You can do this on your own or directly inside the Buyee Website. It easy to just use Buyee first so you learn how the websites work.

Buyee (and other couriers) will place bids for you on Yahoo or just directly order on Mercari. The first time I tried to order a book it was "canceled at the convenience of the seller." I don't know what that really means but it either means the seller didn't want to sell to Buyee or that Buyee took too long to send my order and someone else bought the book first. Since the book was a great price I think that someone else bought it first since it later said "sold" and it wasn't me. So that is one drawback of using s courier. Other couriers, and maybe even Buyee, will give you an address within Japan so that you can place orders on your own (no delay) and just have the item shipped to Buyee.

The courier will hold multiple packages for you for some set fee. I think the first 30 days was included in Buyee's original costs. Then you can have packages consolidated if you'd like, and then mailed to you.

Here's a breakdown of my costs so that you can know what to expect. Warning, shipping is not as cheap as Amazon.

Order 1: Yahoo Japan, 日本囲碁大系⑭ 「秀和」杉内雅男
¥1,100 book price (yes, only $10. It was 3,200 new.Book is in great condition but with pencil markings)
¥198 shipping from seller to courier (took about 2 days)
¥1,100 in courier plan+service+handling fees (yes, the fees were as much as the book).

Order 2: Mercari, 名人・名局戦 秀和
¥3,500 book price (this book seems brand new. And 3500 is the retail price)
¥0 shipping to courier
¥1,100 in courier plan+service+handlings fees

Shipping to US west coast:
¥500 Consolidation fee (the two packages were put together).
¥3,322 Using "Buyee Shipping."

Originally I was quoted ¥6,000 to have the packages delivered using EMS. I debated about just giving up but then I discovered a second option for shipping called "Buyee Air" and it was about half the price. They ended up using DHL and the books arrived in less than a week. In the end, consolidating saved a a decent amount of money. Buyee also offered to add protection to the package but I did not order this. They still added air-bubbles and it seems like the books were kept in the original packaging from the seller. And these were hardbacks. Plus, apparently Japan adds cardboard around hardbacks. That's a nice feature.

The consolidated packaging with air-bubbles

The books in their original packages (one had paper wrapping, the other a cardboard box). These were inside the consolidation box

Showing the cardboard that the hardbacks came with

The books

Good luck out there.

This post by CDavis7M was liked by: Galation
 Post subject: Re: Guide: Ordering Books from Japan using a Courier Service
Post #2 Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 12:19 pm 
Lives with ko
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I also used Buyee for buying from Japan with good results.
There are goods that are difficoult, up to impossible (or soo expensive) to find elsewhere than in Japan.

Thank you for the review.

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