Sunday, March 2, 2008

Money makes me move.

DSC00014 Buying stuff online is ridiculously easy in Japan. I've been wanting a couple of rare figurines I've seen advertised on the Internet for months but haven't had the guts to go through the steps to buy it. The figurines I wanted are from a Japanese comic series called Yotsubato. I've been reading it for a couple of years now and have been looking forward to having some kind of figure to add to my collection.
Lawson_Japan I ended up getting both of my figurines in a bundled set for 3000 yen including shipping from Amazon.jp . I found the figurines by typing Yotsubato in Japanese in the search bar. What's really cool about Amazon.jp is that if you aren't good at reading Japanese, you can switch most of the important buttons like purchase and help into English. I didn't need to do that since I've signed so many documents and typed my home address and name so many times that I know what goes where for the most part. Anyway, I saved about 1000 yen by buying them as a pair as well as saving myself time and money if I ended up searching for them in Akihabara.
The coolest part of buying things from big online sites in Japan is that you can pay for them in cash at your local convenience store. Since Japan is primarily a cash only society, this method of payment makes a lot of sense and really makes life easy for people who choose not to waste money on credit card interest and whatnot. So after I placed my order, Amazon.jp sent me a confirmation email with a special order code which I took to a local Lawson convenience store and entered it into an Loppi automated kiosk. The kiosk printed out a receipt and I handed the receipt to the clerk and they rang it up as a sale. The next day (today) it arrived at my apartment in a clean Amazon.jp box.
DSC00016 Despite there being next to no price competition in traditional Japanese markets, the Internet is a completely different place. I've saved a lot of money doing big purchases online and I plan to do more. Buying stuff from stores in Japan is like highway robbery with all the markups they do along with the driving you have to do just to get what you want. So now I have a couple new figures which I am pretty sure my girlfriend will laugh at me for. Oh well, it's my hobby and if it bothers her that much she can find another guy. :p

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