I get a lot of questions asking me where I buy all my Sailor Moon toys and how to use Yahoo Japan Auctions. Hopefully this guide will be useful so you can all shop for Sailor Moon toys and goodies!
How do I make an account on YJA?
In order to make an account/bid/purchase, you need to reside in Japan.
I don’t live in Japan, does that mean I won’t be able to buy from Yahoo Japan Auctions?
Luckily for us (I don’t live in Japan either), we can still buy from YJA with the help of “deputy shopping services”. They are companies that charge commission fees and help you buy/bid/shop!
What are some of these deputy services?
Some popular ones are Noppin, Shoppingmalljapan, FromJapan, TreasureJapan, Rinkya, Celga. I know many collectors who use these services and many have spent thousands of dollars with them with no problems. How you choose really depends on what your priority is, their fees are all slightly different, some allow real time bidding, some give you a multiplier bid limit. You’re going to have to read into each service and their terms to determine what fits your needs best. Personally I use FromJapan and have found their commission fees to be the cheapest out of all of them.
How do I know how much something will cost in the end?
Each deputy has slightly different commission fees so you will have to check the details. I can give you a general example though!
Auction End Price
+ Commission fee (either a % or flat rate)
+ Domestic shipping (sometimes this is listed on the auction, I find small items are usually 150-750 yen, larger items are around 800-2000 yen)
+ Bank transfer fee (this is unknown until they bill you, usually between 250-500 yen)
+ Handling fee (this is unknown until they bill you)
+ International shipping (varies depending on size/weight and shipping method)
Finally the current exchange rate at the time of writing (November 2012) is really bad for us. Something that costs 5,000 yen equals USD$65.
My general rule of thumb is to just double the auction end price for the “real price”. If the auction end price is below 1,000 yen, then triple it. Yahoo Japan Auctions is not cheap, but it’s the only place you’ll find rare Sailor Moon items. If you’ve seen any of my unboxing Sailor Moon toys videos on my Youtube channel, then you’ll know I usually get my items in huge boxes all at once. The reason is combined shipping is usually cheaper than getting everything shipped individually. However just to give you a realistic estimate, shipping those boxes usually cost between $100 – 150 via EMS. Most deputy services have warehouses where they will store your items for 30 days, this helps if you want to combine shipping or if you need time to come up with the funds.
What do I search on Yahoo Japan Auctions to find Sailor Moon toys?
Since it’s a Japanese website, you need to use Japanese! A free and easy tool is Google Translate, just know a lot of the times it’ll be broken English/gibberish but you get the general idea what it’s trying to say.
Here are some popular search terms:
セーラームーン: Sailor Moon
セーラームーン コンパクト: Sailor Moon compact
セーラームーン スティック: Sailor Moon wand
セーラームーン ぬいぐるみ: Sailor Moon plush
セーラームーン 人形: Sailor Moon doll
セーラームーン フィギュア: Sailor Moon figure
セーラームーン カード: Sailor Moon card
セーラームーン バンダイ: Sailor Moon Bandai
セーラームーン 食玩: Sailor Moon candy/food toys
セーラームーン 原画集: Sailor Moon Artbook
セーラームーン コスプレ: Sailor Moon cosplay
I usually just search the basic セーラームーン because I don’t want to miss anything, there are hundreds of pages to go through but that’s what you have to do! Unlike eBay there is no sort by newly listed and you can’t see completed listings.