I was ordering from CDJapan before, but SAL shipping is unavailable due to the coronavirus, so Amazon’s shipping costs are looking a lot better now. How does that work? Is there anything I should know about? It looks like it’s not the same account as UK Amazon.
I’m in the US but there isn’t anything particular you need to know. Amazon.co.jp requires a separate amazon.co.jp account and supports foreign credit cards. Generally, the process is pretty smooth. The shipping fees is expensive so I usually batch the orders appropriately.
One other thing is that some secondhand books not sold directly by Amazon (and often for dirt cheap and almost always in great quality) can only be shipped within Japan. In those cases, I recommend using a proxy service like buyee.
Amazon JP ships to the United States via DHL Express.
Tenso recently added DHL Express as an option recently because Japan Post is not accepting Express Mail Service (EMS) items for shipment to certain countries (including the United States) right now.
One time, I ordered incense from Amazon JP and DHL refused to accept the package for lacking a material safety data sheet (MSDS). I had the same item sent to Tenso, and they accepted and re-shipped with Japan Post without issue.
DHL Express used to require a signature upon delivery, but lately they just leave the package.
I have only bought books and manga from Japanese eBay sellers and the graded readers from OMGJapans website all were based in Japan and sent to me in the USA.
Got some good deals by buying in bulk from the sellers. they had all types of shipping. OMGjapan had DHL express shipping from japan to USA because of the normal shipping not working and it was actually fast but more expensive than the other stuff.
I ended up going with seamail for my latest honto book order (will arrive here in the UK in about three months based on past experience). I’d probably have picked SAL if it was still operational but since I still have a little pile of unread books to work through I don’t mind the delay.