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Some of the manga from the early '90s were from a place in California (that I forget the name of) that you could snail mail, but mostly I got them from Sasuga, which was the first bookstore that accepted orders by email.
But these days, Sasuga seems to have a mysterious "handling" fee in addition to the shipping; I also ran into the problem that they list books on the site that they don't have -- and can't get.
So it's been mainly BK1 and Amazon Japan for the new ones. (BK1's 500-yen discount coupons are an active evil.) The French ones come off Amazon France.
For the used ones, it's been JPqueen and individuals cleaning house via the Internet. I've also gotten a couple used series sets off Yahoo Japan.
JPqueen and Sasuga seem to be the only ones selling Tosuisha manga like Silver Diamond, though JPqueen is charging the earth for it now. (Ow.)
So I dunno. Amazon isn't necessarily cheaper in that they don't give you much choice for shipping options; also they've the worst, flimsiest packing. But then they also have a preorder discount. Mainly I use it for wish list storage and to browse the user rec lists.
* YesAsia.com. I've linked to the main manga page; the BL is located under "Tanbi." They also carry Chinese language manga. I've never ordered anything from them, but I know that a lot of people do. They've some sort of free shipping deal when you reach X dollars on an order, but you'd have to read the site for that.
* Japan Bookmart is a used bookstore that will deal with overseas customers. Manga and doujinshi here. I know very little about this place other than that they've been around for quite a while; looks like they've finally revised the English on the important parts of site into coherence. They accept Kagi (just like JPqueen), IPMOs, and cash dollars. Shipping: EMS, airmail, SAL, and sea.
* Animaxis. This place is in Japan; they do have BL manga, but the more popular titles are generally out of stock yesterday. (The niece creature asked me to get her some shoujo titles here once; I don't remember much about it otherwise.) Credit card orders; they ship only by EMS. Period.
the shipping on a single volume is more than the cost of the book.
Their prices are great and you get free shipping if you spend $25 or more. Their free shipping to me, I'm in Michigan, takes about 4-5 business days. I haven't found a better site for imports yet.
Amazon Japan is now listing Tosuisha titles. Here's hoping bk1 will soon follow.
I ordered several times from them.
The main advantage – thousands of books available to buy. Goods’ condition as described. Prices for new and popular items are very high (better to buy at Japanese amazon) and are good only for sale or not so popular or rare ones.
Shipping. One time my EMS package (it should be 1 week express…) took 20 days, though it’s post service fault I guess.
Customer support and policy is awful. You can’t cancel any items or order or make ANY changes after placing the order.
I had an account with SEVERAL completed orders and then didn’t paid for ONE order (I got some problems with it and contacted support, though they didn’t answer me). Result – after payment deadline they deleted my account and banned my postal address. Now, when I try to make a new one and register my address they just delete it again. The guys must be very rich if they can treat customers like this…
Recently I decided to make an order together with my friends (we use not my address). But when we make the part of order (in jpqueen you can add more items to the existing order) the girl whose address we use refused to take part in it and we needed to change shipping address (we didn’t pay for order yet). But there is no such option in JQ account. We contacted support and they said: NO, WE WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING, IT”S OUR POLICY. 0_o What’s so criminal in changing shipping address of not-yet-paid order???
Well, I can say I’m very disappointed in this shop.
I've ordered from them several times, never had problems. Amazon is amazon.
I've ordered from them several times. The only problem is not so many titles available and low in-stock qualities. So you should order fast ^^;; What I like:
- prices are lower than jpqueen and other small private shops.
- you can ask them to find items, they really find for me several artbooks!
- they do not delete your account and ban your address if you don’t pay for order till deadline, they just cancel it. normal reaction for the shop.
Bought from them once and will buy again. They have much more items than is listed in their on-line shop, so if you know what exactly you want and don’t see this in their list I strongly recommend to contact their support and ask.
Bought from them once. Prices are a bit high. Very good customer support. It seems that it’s very small private shop and it’s owner (or one of them) answers for all the questions and try to solve any problems. You can freely ask for any items they haven’t and they will look them for you. Besides then I bought from them they added some free anime-style cards, that was unexpected and pleasant ^^
Really reasonable shipping, no markup on cover prices, huge selection of not only manga and artbooks but also novels. If it's in print in Japan, they have it, basically. Site's in Japanese, but once you get used to it it's really not that difficult to navigate. Often I look something up at JPQueen, which lists information in both English and Japanese characters, and then just input the Japanese characters into the search box at BK1.