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Ramble time again; shippingRamble time again; shipping

migurmigurhace 22 díasDiary
Hello all, welcome to another blogpost of mine where i ventilate my unfiltered thoughts. I am writing this at 5 am because i cant sleep because my brain decided it did have enough sleep for now XD, so please forgive me if i made any writing mistakes.This time I want to discuss shipping and what you think is acceptable for 1) shipping speed 2) costs 3) time untill the parcel is posted.

Myself i dont care much about the speed of the delivery because packages can be held hostage by customs for quite a bit so any advantage in terms of speed then is taken away by customs. Also when buying secondhand I usually tell the seller that no priority shipping is needed (as long it's tracked and insured i'm fine with it)
Going for a slower shipping option is usually cheaper so I most commonly pick that one. Generally i can't tell the difference in shipping speed between SAL small package and EMS.

International shipping is expensive. Depending on the size and weight it can quickly add up. I usually have the feeling that shipping should be no more expensive than 50% of an item with a value power than 50 euro, or more expensive than 25%-30% of anything above 100%

When buying from a shop i generally expect something to be shipped within a few days after processing my payment. When buying secondhand, i understand people have a dayjob, dont always have time to pack stuff right away. So in that occassion i'm fine with waiting 1-1.5 weeks, however i do highly prefer that a seller would give an estimate time untill they ship it. I am more like; let me know what to expect and then I won't bother you with asking questions about it. Of you happen to break a leg and cant get to the postoffice for 2 months; thats fine, stuff happens.
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I usually ship everything with Registered SAL and ship only 1 item at a time so that it doesnt bump it up to EMS (except Nendoroids which I order and ship in 2's with Registered SAL)

I made a pretty good shipping guide on my profile that ive had up for years if you want to read it.

Shipping has definitely gotten more expensive though, I remember when the max I would pay to ship a single figure with EMS would be around ¥5,000 ($50 USD) but now im starting to see figures costs close to ¥6,000 for EMS. These are some of the single figures I had shipped with EMS this year and how much EMS costs to the USA:

Aqua ITEM #740484 = ¥5,200 EMS
(18+) Chie Mama ITEM #806233 = ¥5,900 EMS
(18+) Lucifer 1/4 Bunny Girl ITEM #604509 = ¥5,900 EMS
(18+) Maria Bunny Girl: ITEM #676111 = ¥5,900 EMS
(18+) Sariel Angel Girl ITEM #836543 = ¥4,500 EMS

I have had problems this year with figures getting damaged by the post office and I picked Registered SAL so I was out of luck like with this Holo figure: photos.app.goo.... that I wrote about in this article: BLOG #43417

I have also had a problem that I am still dealing with, I ordered some art books, tapestries, posters, and 18+ games from Japan using a proxy and one of my EMS shipments got stuck in ISC New York (customs) from August 24th until October 17th when it was scanned in Atlanta, GA in what USPS calls a "Mail Recovery Center" because someone marked the EMS shipment that was stuck in customs for 2 months as "undeliverable" .... god knows what they did to the stuff inside the box in those 2 months that it was being held hostage. I am still waiting for USPS to deliver that lost EMS shipment, hopefully nothing is lost/broken/stolen when it arrives but I suspect that customs opened the box, held it hostage, then they didnt re-seal the box the same way that it was sealed in Japan and they probably lost or tore the shipping label too. I paid for EMS for that shipment and I got slower then Registered SAL shipping speeds considering its going to be 3 months now and I still dont have the EMS package.
hace 21 días
Cost of shipping with tracking is important, secure packaging is even more important, not too much not too little. The rest is secondary.
hace 22 días
I'm sort of impatient when it comes to getting my figures, but only if I'm buying it from a known retailer/company (e.g. AmiAmi). I always expect them to ship out my stuff within 1-3 business days after I've paid, as that's usually the speed that I'm used to with them. I typically choose SAL, but I don't mind if they bump it up to EMS because of size/weight issues. Since my country is fairly near to Japan with very lax customs (I'm pretty much friends with all the people there lol), SAL and EMS can take about the same time to arrive; all of my packages, whether it's SAL or EMS, arrives to me within 5-7 days; DHL takes 1-2 days and does not get hit with customs but is also significantly more expensive. I think the longest I've had to wait for a package was around 10-12 days, but that was because it was December. The people here don't celebrate Christmas, so any delays during December largely occurs because of Japan Post.

But if I'm buying pre-owned from a seller from MFC, I am more than fine with any delays. I typically always choose the cheapest shipping with tracking though, as shipping can get quite expensive when buying from an individual seller; but I don't mind, as long as I know that I can trust the seller (if I've bought from someone before and the transaction was successful, I usually look at their profiles first to see if they have anything I want/need for sale before I look at other people; and when I'm buying from someone completely new, I tend to look at their feedback first either on their ads or their profiles - I typically avoid sellers that have none/negative ones). I tend to prefer buying from Australian sellers, as their packages can also get here quite fast even if I choose the cheapest method with tracking (estimated arrival can be between 8-10 days). I don't mind waiting, and I don't mind delays in shipping out or whatever, but what I ask is communication. I've had a bad experience with a seller here once about two years ago who did NOT communicate at all; took the person like two weeks to send the package, all without telling me where they were in the process and not replying to my messages even if it shows that they've been online. If they had just told me that they were busy, or they were dealing with something, I would have understood; but it took me threatening to escalate things with PayPal before they sent out the package lmao. And the bad part is they were actually pretty good with communication until the point they got my money, then the messages stopped coming. Definitely shady.

tl;dr I expect faster shipping and responses from actual companies, but if it's private sellers looking to give their figures a new home, then I am okay with any delays either due to shipping or events happening in their personal lives, as long as there's adequate communication.
hace 22 días
Well, I am impatient so I really do want my package to arrive as soon as possible. However I am also aware of shipping prices and unfortunately don't have any other shipping options for me other than EMS and Air Small Packet. DHL is an option too, but it's even more expensive.

Worst part is that since last year the government here changed how packages passed through customs. A year ago you would get a call from the customs office, go down there with the paperwork and get your package immediately after paying the tax. Now you get a text it's at customs, send them the documents via email or post and wait 3-4 weeks for your package to get sent to your local post office and then receive it. So for me shipping speed doesn't matter at all at this point since no matter how expedited shipping is its always going to get held up at customs for weeks.

At any rate, this hobby is getting more and more expensive and I keep wondering if it's overall worth it.
hace 22 días
I've changed my mind about this recently.

I thought that the way forwards was "cheapest shipping, attempt to slide under the radar for customs because money > getting figures fast".

However, I've not collected figures seriously for a while now and instead do visual novels. If there's a visual novel you want to play, for example that I've read the demo for and am dying to know the continuation, then speed is of the importance. In addition, with low volume packages, the difference in price for fast (DHL) and slow (SAL Small Packet) shipping becomes less significant (about 1k between them), which I can justify for myself. Especially now that "flying under the customs radar" is pointless as they both consistently get hit for about the same price and communication by text and payment is all done online, I'd rather pay the extra 1k and get the game in 3 days than save the 1k and have it sit in customs for 3 weeks.

For the turnaround time, I was literally having this problem recently, with very busy stores delaying shipping to my proxy, then compounded with the recent typhoon in Japan, meaning I was waiting 2-3 weeks from ordering to it being shipped. Sucks but it can't be helped.
hace 22 días
If I am buying from a store or a manu, I expect it to be packed/shipped within 3-5 business days. I will typically just get the cheaper shipping option (typically the free one lol). I kind of like waiting a long time to get a figure ... the anticipation is half of the fun! It makes me feel like I'm treating myself when I got something I paid for a month ago.

If I am buying second hand, I am more lax about when it's packed/shipped, but typically the people I'm buying from want to get it out of their house/storage ASAP. I like when they tell me when they are going to be shipping it, or what days are best for them. I have sold stuff before so I'm conscious that things don't always go as planned. When purchasing second hand, I like to get some kind of tracking number typically if the package is coming from overseas. I just feel like there's more that could go wrong and less that could be done if something went wrong from a private seller rather than a big store.
hace 22 días
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