Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Best Kept Secret: Japan to Door

I used to use another service that was exclusively for people who speak Japanese, but they kind of screwed me over. But my post isn't about that company, it's about Japan to Door! I'm not paid by them for anything, just a happy customer who has my needs fulfilled :)

I specifically use them for their Other Forwarding service, meaning that I handle all of the transactions myself and they act as my warehouse for receiving items. A big bonus is that they also allow transactions dealing with COD, meaning that there's pretty much no limitations to what sites you can buy from! I haven't used any of their other services so I cannot comment on those.

It was really important for me to be able to handle my own orders, so if there were sales on major sites I wouldn't have to worry about my items selling out. But in order to do this you need to have a basic understanding of Japanese! It is really important in the case that the stores you are buying from have delays or need you to confirm things, an example was that one of my egg shop orders was majorly delayed due to manufacturing issues in China. If you can't read or understand these types of things it'll be difficult for you to use this service.

So if you fit into the role of wanting to control your own orders, keep reading!

How the service works:
  • Once you sign up with JTD they provide you an address to use for your items to be shipped to. It is really important to follow the steps in regards to the address, or else it might be cut off in orders and not shipped correctly to their warehouse.
  • You add funds to your account through Paypal, which is any amount you want to load into your account (for things like COD, service fees and shipping). I believe there is a small Paypal fee charged when adding funds to your account.
  • In order to make it more cost efficient, get everything you need at once! When you make orders you need to fill out one Other Forwarding service form where you can add multiple store orders as long as they're made within a 48 hour period. Also make sure you select the option for consolidation and repacking if you're receiving multiple orders at a time (it's an additional $16 for these services).
  • It is cheaper if you charge your items to a credit card, but COD is available with a 15% service fee. If you are using COD you must pay upfront or else they could possibly reject your order and send it back to the origin!
  • Once everything has arrived they will give you an invoice of charges and you have within 10 days to pay for everything to be shipped. The fees consist of shipping, handling, consolidation + repacking fee, invoice fee and taxes. It can get expensive overall, which is why I suggest doing multiple orders at once.
And here's an example of a fee breakdown (taken from one of my orders):
  • Ordered 12 used CDs from Amazon Japan Marketplace for approximately $5 each ($60) - all paid on my debit card.
  • Shipping fee: 3600yen converted to $42.25
  • Handling fee: $11.74
  • Consolidation + Repacking fee: $16
  • Japanese tax: $3.75
  • Total fees: $78.74, meaning each CD becomes about $11.50 which isn't bad considering they're very hard to find and originally retail for about 3015yen each.
So yes it can get more expensive than you originally expect, but overall it's not too bad! I recommend them 100%.

Stores I recommend on ordering from:


  1. I was looking at Japan to Door vs OOOH Japan. Do you have any experience with the other? I'm glad you've had such a positive experience - thanks for sharing! ^_^

  2. @ Alicia
    I haven't had experience with OOOH Japan since they don't have an option to order items yourself :/ However I did look up the costs for personal shopping orders and it looks like JTD might be more cost efficient in the long run. JTD charges $10 per order from store + 15% of total while OOOH Japan charges a flat 3500yen per ITEM from the range of 1-17,999yen and then 20%~ on after that.

    What I do like about JTD is that while they have a pay option to ship items "urgently", as long as you pay the shipping invoice they ship it out pretty much ASAP.

    Hope that helps you :)