Import sites suck...

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Import sites suck...

Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:13 am

Okay, I'm not sure WTF is going on with shipping from Hong Kong, but it should NOT take 3 weeks to send something airmail. I ordered the new GBA Zelda from Play Asia. They say it takes 7-14 days shipping normal airmail ($3.50 or so). They say they shipped it 11/1, and it arrived yesterday -- 11/21. WTF? In normal times, i can ship a single-CD game from Japan via airmail to the mainland and it takes a week tops, usually 5 days. So, I'm just ranting. I miss walking down to the shop on release day and picking the games up. On the good side, I finally found a shop that will send to me direct from Japan, and I can pay for the games in yen. Most stuff is at a discount off of retail (10 - 15%) but not everything. I've managed to order Tales of Rebirth from the shop for 6080 yen, plus another 510 or so for shipping. I should have it in my grubby paws less than a week after release. Not bad. Before anyone asks, they don't speak English, and only take Japanese bank transfer as a form of payment, so, it's not really easy unless you're well-established in Japan.
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Postby Ganelon » Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:05 am

Yeah, Play-Asia's lame that way. Airmail from HK Ebay dealers generally take a week to arrive to me but Play-Asia has messy processing. I generally wouldn't ever buy there although they do offer competitive prices for a game import site.

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Postby Darkchii » Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:17 pm

Ive never add any delay with play-asia. Usually it takes from 7 to 10 days to get something from them ( and I'm in Canada )
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Postby zubiac » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:16 pm

hell,play-asia purchases arrive in 5-7days here. and I live in Austria(!) maybe they screwed something up
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Postby Strychnine » Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:34 am

I personally think play-asia is tops. All of my packages have arrived in a timely manner... AND AND AND THEY GAVE ME CANDY! :o :o ...okay, maybe its not a big deal, but their shipping is dirt cheap and those play-asia coupon codes make impulse buys all the more impulsive.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:06 pm

Yeah, I suppose so. I've found a Japanese shop that will actually ship to me, and I can pay in yen (I left some yen in Japan for this reason alone). So, I won't be using the import shops for new games.
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Postby Niu » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:52 pm

I curremntly lives in US, and I use Himeya a lot. Despite a bit expensive, the service is decent and the are almost ensured to get you the preorder goods.

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Postby Ganelon » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:38 am

Geh, Himeya is too expensive for me. I liked them better when they actually localized games. And geez Niu, you come here and don't even say hi. :roll:

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Postby Niu » Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:06 am

Oh, I am just keeping a low profile here. And nice to see you too Gan.
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Re: Import sites suck...

Postby CIT Seven Force » Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:12 pm

Gaijin Punch wrote: On the good side, I finally found a shop that will send to me direct from Japan, and I can pay for the games in yen. Most stuff is at a discount off of retail (10 - 15%) but not everything. I've managed to order Tales of Rebirth from the shop for 6080 yen, plus another 510 or so for shipping. I should have it in my grubby paws less than a week after release. Not bad. Before anyone asks, they don't speak English, and only take Japanese bank transfer as a form of payment, so, it's not really easy unless you're well-established in Japan.
Can you tell me the shop, are they online? I actually still have a bank account in Japan with maybe ichi-man en in it, from when I lived there. Figure I might as well blow it on games, it's not like it's collecting any interest, that's for sure. :)

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:56 pm

If it's not Japan Net Bank, then you have to register on paper where you want to transmit money to.... kind of takes the convenience out of it, no? The shop is www.m-matching.co.jp They ship abroad, but don't take credit cards so isn't worthwhile for most people.
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Postby CIT Seven Force » Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:54 pm

Hmm, the link doesn't work for me. But I guess you're right, wouldn't have been to convenient for me anyway, as I have a Yuubin account.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:43 pm

Oops. Here's the link: http://www.m-matching.com/
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Postby Mad Mage » Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:35 am

Well, atleast out of all the import sites I've ever bought from, Play-asia is the best, the cheapest, and has the cheapest shipping. Most their prices are comprable to other sites, however the five dollar off coupons you get with every order it makes them easily cheaper. Though I know what you mean, Strychnine, about the coupons making you buy more stuff.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:20 am

What happens if you get the $3 shipping and something gets lost in the mail? Do they cover it? I've toyed w/ the idea of starting a small, new-games shop if I ever move back to Japan. Make some extra dough, and give the wife something to do. W/o buying in bulk, I could undercut Play Asia's list price by probably $5 on each item, and still make about $5 for myself (after Paypal takes their 2.9% cut). Could do shipping to the US for about $3 as well, but that's w/ no tracking or insurance. If it got lost, I would no doubt lose profit for the next 10 games. It didn't happen much before, but could happen. Registered mail is an extra 410 yen. Gotta figure out a decent business plan... or figure out how to get enough orders to buy games in bulk.
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Postby Mad Mage » Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:50 am

There's no way you could get them to pay for it. If your game is lost in the mail, you're probably SOL, and I'm almost certain your 3.00 shipping doesn't have insurance. However I've been convinced that my play-asia item was lost on two seperate ocasions, and it's always come through in the end. Sometimes they just take a long time. Also, since it's the cheapest shipping option, extra delays should be expected. Oddly enough, out of all the games I've ordered the only two that never showed up were sent from the U.S.. And if I had payed for shipping on all the items I ever ordered, I'd be out a lot more then the 80 bucks I'm out from the two lost items. Also, it goes without saying, but if you ever did get the game shop up and running, that'd be awesome. I somehow think, however, that you'd find you needed to raise the markup a bit to compensate for all the work involved in srunning an online store. You also have to bear in mind credit card companies will be taking a small percentage of your payments as well.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:42 am

New guys to the site won't know, but I know about selling through the internet. This site was born from me selling through Ebay. That was years ago though. Back then, all the money was in retro games... and almost nobody did it. There's still more of a markup in retro, but you could be stuck holding stuff for a while. No interest there. The idea is to undercut the big guys enough to get a decent amount of orders. This will not happen for a while though. I have no plans on going back to Japan yet other than "someday, I will go back". My company now is quite generous, and I don't want to piss that away. :) EDIT: Forgot about the hardest part. The conversion. Paypal gives an absolutely shit exchange rate. If it's 112 to the dollar, they will sell at 115 and buy at 108... that seems about right for the US, but in Japan, it's regulated, so it's more like selling at 113 and buying 111... 113.5 and 110.5 at worst. This will be a trick to get around. I would assume that a merchant account in Japan would be regulated, and would be subject to the set rate... I think their transaction fees are higher though. Could be a lose/lose.
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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:32 pm

I figure I should warn everyone about something Play-Asia pulled on me recently. The short of it: My copy of the regular edition of Mushihimesama arrived the other day. The game essentially cost me $160. The long of it: I placed Mushihimesama on preorder back in May. At the time, I was flat broke, but I figured I would have had a summer job for several weeks before it shipped on the 21st Of July, so no problem. Plus - and I have to stress this - Play-Asia stated multiple times through the preorder process that my check card would not be charged until the item shipped. Due to this being a small town and the economy being utter shit, the second half of July rolls around, and I seem to have no job and only ‾$30 in my bank account - not nearly enough for Mushihimesama. I resign myself to the idea that I won't be able to get the game at this point, and go to cancel my preorder on Play-Asia, but not before double-checking my bank account online to just make sure that I really can't afford it. This is July the 17th. Lo and behold, my available funds (my bank account displays both 'available funds', which is the balance with credit card transactions yet to be processed, and 'actual funds', the money physically in there at the time) are in the negative, and I see that the reason is that, yes, Play-Asia has charged my card. My actual balance is still in the clear, so I'm not totally freaked out, but I send them a rather angry email instructing them - in no uncertain terms - to cancel my order, as they have charged my card long before they were supposed to. I get what must be some sort of canned reply about how it was just a preliminary charge and most users don't even see it on their statement and thanks for my business. No cancellation, and just as I expected, the order is processed on the 19th, the amount for the game is subtracted to my available funds, and thanks to 6 small transactions of $1-2 (Taco Bell) that went through when the Mushihimesama charge was first applied, I'm now looking at 6x$30 overdraft charges to my already negative amount. I talked to the bank in a panic, and while sympathetic, they were - for some reason - only able to reverse 3 of the 6 charges (Hey, Mr. Potter has to get rich too, you know...), which was better than nothing. I managed to bum some money off of friends and get everything squared away, but Play-Asia never cancelled the order, nor did they reply to my request to make up the $90 in charges - not that I expected them to, in Hong Kong, but it was worth a try. I glared at my Mushihimesama box for a good 15 minutes after it arrived before I gave into the temptation and borrowed my roommate's PS2 to play it. Maybe it's just me, but it almost - ALMOST - seems worth the insane price I paid. The moral of the story is this: Never trust a company that says they don't charge your card until your order ships. They're fucking lying through their yellow, rotten teeth. If you have to cancel an order, do it a month in advance - don't give those bastards any leeway.

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Postby Ganelon » Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:48 pm

Yeah, a problem with some foreign customer service folks is that they tend to ignore parts of questions. I'm guessing it's due to either a lack of understanding or carelessness (probably the latter in Play-Asia's case since getting a response can take 3 days). However, they may not have actually charged your card when you first saw it. Stores sometimes just check to see if everything is alright with your card (a confirmation fund holding) before actually charging your card. It sucks that they completely ignored your request though. For future reference, it may be helpful to send them multiple emails focusing on 1 point for every message. They seem to have a email queue system where they respond to all messages in FIFO manner. That way, they can't conveniently "miss" a request or question. Enjoy the game though. At least it was good 'ol Mushihime.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:11 pm

GSL: While it's nice to blame Play Asia, you're missing the underlying problem -- the US banking system sucks massive balls! They make money off of overdrafts... lots, and who overdrafts their accounts? People w/ little or no money... often students, like in your case. Obviously from the site anyone can tell that I'm quite fond of many things the Japanese do. While their bank system has some seriously effed up problems (lack of 24 hour ATM machines is only the first), they do have two things that are fantastic. 1: A no check system. You can't overdraft. Either you have the money or you don't. 2: A system which allows anyone to transfer money to any other bank account in the country from just about any ATM machine for a minimal fee. The first one keeps the banks from getting rich, the second keeps broken fucked up companies like Paypal from getting rich... accounts getting "hacked" almost never happens as well since it's your bank account, not some shitty Paypal account. If you're in a situation where you might overdraft, you REALLY gotta think ahead in order not to give more money to these corporations. If you have to cancel an order "before it's charged" you should take the extra step and cancel the electronic payment at your bank. Most banks should be able to stop the payment once time for a specific amount for about $5. Much better than the $30 (x6) you could get stuck with. Your only other option is to get credit, which doesn't have overdrafts. It has a whole new world of problems though. :(
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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:39 am

Yeah, I'm not touching a line of credit if I can at all help it. Overdraft charges suck (though I try not to incur them on a regular basis), but at least a check card draws directly from money I have (or don't as is most often the case). I'm going to be in debt enough from school loans, I don't need anything else. And yes, the US banking system is complete bullshit. Overdrafts of $30 each when you're only $3 in the hole are ridiculous - but when you realize that every $30 they squeeze out of some poor shmuck goes to bail out the respected corporate customers when Company X is thousands of dollars in the red, it makes sense - in a really fucked-up way. I'd love to see a bank that actually works for the individual, middle class customer, but each time I imagine that, I bust up laughing - fantasy worlds are fun, sometimes.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:43 am

Not an hour after I wrote this, I had to call and put a stop payment on a check my wife wrote to the hospital that apparently got lost in the mail. She said the fee was $19. Fuck that.
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