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Buying Doujinshi

October 4th, 2009, 5:11PM by nat | 8 comments

Doujinshi

Buying doujinshi can be quite expensive when you bid on already inflated auctions, where you'll still have to pay for shipping, service fees, and wire transfer fees through a deputy service.

While auctions are great for buying truly rare items, you should always check Japanese online stores like Messe-Sanoh, Toranoana, Melonbooks, and Mandarake before placing a bid. Not only can you get an idea of the "retail" value of a doujinshi, you can also see if they happen to have it in stock. All of the shops mentioned except for Mandarake, only ship internally (to Japan addresses). To work around this, deputy services--companies that buy these items on your behalf for a service charge--are plentiful.

If you google "deputy service" you can take your time and go through each company to decide which will give you the best price. I've successfully used Rinkya, Crescent Shop, Shopping Mall Japan, and Goody Japan. They're all different, but you have to consider what you're buying to get the best deal from each.

Deputy shops will do the buying for you, but you still have to find the doujinshi you're looking for. Basically, you'll find the link for the item you want (and it has to be on a page you can order the item from) and they will buy if after you've paid them for it. Some shops will let you pay just for the items, and others will have you pay your service fees and shipping all at the same time. All of the Japanese doujinshi shops mentioned have on site searching, so you can find what you're looking for pretty easily. If you're uncertain about how to compose an artists' name or circle name in Japanese, try using the Doujinshi Database where you can search the romanized name and get a page that (usually) includes it in Japanese.

Also, be aware that all items from Mandarake are used. But from my experience, Japan's used is usually in excellent condition when it comes to doujinshi (though I can't say the same for art books…). If that worries you, stick to buying new or from auctions that give you a better description of the item's quality.

If there's anything else I can clear up, just let me know and I'll keep adding to this little guide.

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Avatar for Tsuki88
Tsuki88

10 years, 2 months ago

 

I didn't know mandarake allowed international orders, thanks for that tip!

Avatar for MrDisco
MrDisco

10 years, 2 months ago

 

Hey Nat, Any chance you could write a dummies guide on how to use these sites?

I use Crescent Shop and they charge 2000Y or 20% of the order (which is higher) for their shopping services - not sure if the other places you mentioned are cheaper.

Also is it possible to list the kanji for the titles that your review? There's a few that I'm after that I haven't had any luck finding on Yahoo Auctions (see Z-T :P)

Avatar for nat
nat

10 years, 2 months ago

 

This is kind of what I meant when I said it all depends on what you want to do. Goody Japan is cheaper than Crescent Shop if you're only ordering from one store. The commission rates are lower, but if you're shopping from multiple stores, you'll end up paying the rate times each store. Of course, it can work out to be lower if you're not buying much from each store.

I'll start listing the kanji names for the authors and titles in my reviews, though the ones I've done so far are actually English titles. I also link to the sites where you can find info about their publications. When you say dummy guide, do you mean for the deputy sites or the ones in Japanese? :o

Avatar for MrDisco
MrDisco

10 years, 2 months ago

 

Hmm I guess start with the deputy sites and then work on the Japanese ones.

Oh how about this for an idea - a section with a list of popular artists and circle names in kanji? Makes it easier to search for items that way.

Avatar for Bantam
Bantam

10 years, 2 months ago

 

That's a really good idea, has nobody really done that yet?

Avatar for ShiNN
ShiNN

10 years, 2 months ago

 

I can help with the kanji list.

Avatar for nat
nat

10 years, 2 months ago

 

Yay for help! I'll send you what I have after I get started (though it might be a little while...)

Avatar for nat
nat

10 years, 2 months ago

 

Yeah, this sounds do-able. I'll get a list started, though remember I'm really illustration collection focused, so those would be the artists I know :3

Not sure how much additional insight I can provide on the deputy shops, but I'll try doing little walk-throughs for the Japanese sites.