Japan proxy shopping services, compared and reviewed: DEJAPAN vs. From Japan vs. ZenMarket vs. Buyee vs. Samurai Buyer

Oh no, we named them all! And linked to them! We’re doomed! Well, maybe. Or maybe not.

(There’s a surprise bonus waiting for everyone who reads this post to the very end. Go on. We’ll be waiting.)

Most Japan proxy services do the same stuff. We all help you order from Japanese websites and bid on Yahoo! Auctions with international shipping. So how do you decide which one’s best to shop with?

At a glance:

DEJAPAN From Japan ZenMarket Buyee Samurai Buyer
Service fee/commission ZERO 0-200 yen 300 yen per item 150 yen or 0-5% From 500 yen or 9%, plus 8%
Plan(s) FREE 300 yen, 700 yen none free, 300 yen, 500 yen none
Payment Credit card, PayPal Deposit funds in advance Deposit funds in advance Credit card, PayPal, AliPay Credit card, PayPal, AliPay
Free storage time 30 days 45 days 45 days 30 days unknown
Consolidation 100 yen per item included included 500 yen or 1,000 yen 1,000 yen
Packaging 300 yen, 500 yen, 1,000 yen At FJ’s discretion ‘Framework’ (1,000 yen) Protective (1,500 yen) none
Shipping options EMS, SAL, Airmail, Surface Mail, FedEx EMS, SAL, Airmal, FedEx, Small Packet, Surface Mail, DHL EMS, AVIA, SAL, DHL, FedEx, UPS, SF Express EMS, SAL, Airmail, Seamail, UPS, DHL EMS, SAL, Samurai Economy

There’s the quick side-by-side matchup, but what about the breakdown?

DEJAPAN

We don’t charge a service fee or commission. There’s no separate fee for bidding on Yahoo! Auctions, either. Your 1st payment on DEJAPAN is the item cost, plus any (optional) paid extras at checkout.

You can order and pay straight away. Even when you’re making an item request. Other sites make you add funds first, and/or wait for a ‘final quote’ – by then, your items could’ve sold out.

The standard plan’s currently free to choose. That may change in future, but it’s free right now, so don’t miss out. It gives you the ability to consolidate items before 2nd payment. More on that a bit further down.

It’s true we don’t hold items at our warehouse for free as long as some other services. We’ve found that 30 days is more than enough for our customers. And that puts us tied with Buyee, rather than dead last. There’s a per-day fee for keeping them here longer.

Consolidation’s 100 yen per item, and has to be done if you chose the plan during 1st payment. It applies even if you only ordered 1 thing. Still works out less per item than the service fee with most other proxies.

You get the choice of packaging options, too. ‘Minimum’ (300 yen) is the least we can use while protecting your items – keeps the parcel weight low for shipping. ‘Extra’ (500 yen)’s recommended for figures and plastic models. And ‘Protective’ (1,000 yen) is comprehensive wrapping for glass, ceramics, and other fragile items.

Almost all shipments can be sent by EMS, SAL, Airmail, or Surface Mail, with FedEx available to certain countries. Prices aren’t inflated – you pay the actual shipping cost.

From Japan

On the surface, no service charge on most orders. Dig around on their website, and you’ll find a 200-yen fee on all Yahoo! Auctions wins.

And at checkout, you have to decide on a paid plan – either 300 yen or 700 yen. So that’s a 500-yen minimum if you’re an auction winner, and 300 yen for everything else. Consolidation’s included in both plans, at least.

But before you get to that bit, you’ve gotta make the order. You can use a credit card or PayPal directly – or use them to deposit site credit in yen. You have to use deposited funds for auction bids.

Having a month and a half to keep items stored is nice. Dunno if we could wait that long for cool Japan stuff. Where some proxies start charging per day once free storage ends, when your 45 days are up FJ’s getting rid of your items.

There are a couple different packaging options for fragile/big items, but you can’t choose one. Every order’s packed as their warehouse team sees fit.

An upside – if you think you need it – is maybe the longest delivery options list. We get that small packet shipping’s popular, and we’re working on adding it to our own service. Weirdly, it’s not available with FJ if you pick their highest protection plan…

ZenMarket

The 300-yen service fee at ZM is firmly average, right in the middle. With no plan levels, it’s a standard service.

As with FJ, depositing your funds before you order’s the way things work. Use a debit (Stripe) or credit card, PayPal, AliPay, or a bank transfer. The advantage is knowing the funds are on your account, and the disadvantages are wait times and changes in the exchange rate.

One other similarity between the 2 services is the 45-day free storage time. What ZM does differently is hold onto your stuff for longer, charging for every extra 24 hours up to 90 days.

It doesn’t cost extra to consolidate an order for delivery. When you’re paying 300 yen per item up front, you’d hope not. Anyone buying fragile items can opt for the ‘Framework’ packaging, a 1,000-yen option. It’s a decent level of protection (great if you’re buying fragile items), but bear in mind it adds up to 2kg to your parcel’s weight.

The variety of shipping methods could help you out, depending where you live. For example, the SF Express option’s only available to Asia, and DHL Direct is for US-bound parcels.

Buyee

All orders under 3,000 yen are subject to a 150-yen service fee. Above that, it depends where you bought it. It’s 0% for Yahoo! Shopping, Amazon Japan, and Rakuten, and 5% for Yahoo! Auctions and item requests from other shopping sites.

Same as FJ, there’s an extra 200-yen service charge if your item’s from Yahoo! Auctions. That’s a double whammy for regular bidders.

Buyee offers the most service plans, with 4 tiers ranging from free to 500 yen (down from 800 yen, forever? no idea). The ‘Lite’ plan is free, and gives you… nothing. The paid plans are: 1 with item inspection, 1 with item insurance, and the ‘Standard’ plan that includes both.

As well as PayPal and credit cards, AliPay’s an extra payment option (but not for auctions).

The consolidation cost depends on what you want to combine. For 2 packages/items, it’s 500 yen. Any number higher than that’s 1,000 yen. Your packaging options are ‘leave it up to Buyee’ (free) or ‘Protective’ (1,500 yen).

Available shipping methods are a bit more versatile. Seamail’s a new one on us – might just be Surface Mail. For some delivery options, Buyee adds an automatic 410-yen extra fee to cover international tracking.

Samurai Buyer

SB’s service fee is ‘as low as’ 500 yen per order. ‘The cheapest in the industry’ on their website… the most expensive on this list, if you’re only buying 1 thing.

And it’s 500 yen if your order’s 5k yen or lower. Spend more, and it switches to 9% of the total. THEN there’s 8% Japanese consumption tax on top. No plan levels, as far as we know.

AliPay’s a helpful payment option for some people, and there’s no need to deposit funds before buying. You can only bid on Yahoo! Auctions with PayPal, though.

We couldn’t find any mention of storage time. Seeing as the site does say, “We will send you an invoice requiring you to pay the international shipping fees when the product arrives at our warehouse.”, we’re gonna assume they don’t hold stuff for long.

And no word on how SB packs your items for delivery. EMS seems to be the standard service. It’s fast, after all – you’ll get your package in what feels like no time. Samurai Economy’s unique to SB as a shipping method, and we’re not 100% sure what it is.

Buy direct from Japan online with DEJAPAN

Sure, we’re biased. Like we’re gonna tell you to shop somewhere else, come on. But check the figures, and the blog posts we write every week, and there’s no contest.

Switch from any other Japan proxy service to DEJAPAN today, or make an account as a total newb, and we’ll give you 300 yen in credit. That’s right, kids, free money!

We’ll add it to new DEJAPAN accounts made from the date we posted this (April 18th 2018) up to the end of June 2018 JULY 2018. That’s right, more points for everyone! Who doesn’t already have a DEJAPAN account! (1 account per person. If you make multiples, we’ll have to ban you. Just FYI.)

BUT it’s not automatic – you’ve gotta contact us by clicking here to claim them. That’s so we know you’re human, and seriously plan to use that shiny new account for ordering stuff. Sign up and email us before you miss out.

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4 thoughts on “Japan proxy shopping services, compared and reviewed: DEJAPAN vs. From Japan vs. ZenMarket vs. Buyee vs. Samurai Buyer

  • May 10, 2018 at 12:03
    Permalink

    There seems to be a few mistakes in the Samurai Buyer section.

    For the service fee there is no consumption tax (despite it saying so in their user guide which is weird. I used the proxy service and it was definitely 500 yen and no extra 8%, I calculated.)

    However, when I once used their Transfer service there was 8% and that came to only 40 yen (so 8% of 500 yen) and because the item I transferred was over 10,000 yen, their “if over 5000 yen then fee is 9%” thing only applies to transfer service, not proxy or auction.

    Consolidation costing 1000 yen only applies to Transfer service, so normal items bought directly through proxy service are free to consolidate. You just have to contact them to request they combine it. I had to do it once.

    Unofficially storage time is one month. I was curious as to how long I could wait to pay for international shipping and they said if they receive no contact, then after one month of purchase the items are disposed of / returned, but they send automatic emails every so often to remind you to pay for international shipping.

    Packaging: not sure what “none” means, it just came as is in the original package the seller sent from for example amazon box. No charge or anything.

    Just felt the need to mention these things coz the chart makes them look bad when I’ve used them and they’re OK. Just I think they don’t have anyone speaking native English so their site doesn’t explain everything well.

    Reply
    • May 10, 2018 at 12:03
      Permalink

      We’ve approved this comment, for transparency, but we went by the info that’s currently on the site. No mistakes our end. If they haven’t updated it to reflect what you’ve said here, that’s on them. We won’t be editing our post.

      Reply
  • April 18, 2018 at 12:03
    Permalink

    Thanks, you saved us some time doing the research.

    Please pay attention that “Packaging” and “Protective Packaging” has different meaning with different services.
    In your case packaging fee is a must, but for other services “protective packaging” is an option, so it does not make sense comparing them.

    Reply
    • April 18, 2018 at 12:03
      Permalink

      Thanks for reading! Someone had to put it out there, may as well be us.

      It makes total sense to compare options in the same category, especially when there are differences to be aware of like this.

      Reply

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