How can I get an item only sold within Japan to the U.S.?
March 11, 2012 9:02 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy a specific Japanese item, but neither the maker nor will ship this item to the U.S. This item is not being sold in the U.S. or the U.K. I don't currently have any friends in Japan. Do I have any options?
posted by TayBridge to Shopping (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard good things about but haven't used them myself - if you want to shop around, Google "Japan buying service".
posted by lhall at 9:34 PM on March 11, 2012

posted by Lyn Never at 9:35 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have used Rakuten with great results for items sold in Japan. It essentially orders the item which is mailed to a shipping center in Japan (you will need to create an account with where your package will then be forwarded to you.
posted by loquat at 9:39 PM on March 11, 2012

I've used to buy stuff from Japan. Basically, if it's available online, you tell them what you want, they buy it, repack it, and ship it to you. You pay a fee based on how much the item costs.

There are a bunch of proxy services like this, but noppin is the only one I have personally used. It works pretty smoothly, and I have had excellent customer service from them (even for Japan). One time I wanted something hard to get, and the girl arranging stuff even called around to help me find the right thing and ask questions on my behalf. Super nice. Depends on what you're buying to make it cost effective, but whatever it is you want, you can definitely get it.
posted by tracert at 9:42 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

The item isn't listed directly on any of the sites listed above, but I'm looking forward to checking out all the proxies. Thanks so much!
posted by TayBridge at 10:07 PM on March 11, 2012

Not sure what you want but you could try one of the Kinokuniya stores Southern California.
posted by the_artificer at 2:23 AM on March 12, 2012

I've used Tenso before, sounds similar to what Noppin seems to be.
posted by kitsuloukos at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2012

Ending up using White Rabbit Express and was entirely happy with the experience. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions.
posted by TayBridge at 4:58 PM on March 21, 2012

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