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Collecting Japanese Goods Basics

Japan is all the way on the other side of the world. This proves to be problematic in many aspects. You cannot walk across the street to buy goods that you want. Combine that with certain marketing tactics and your wallet is in for a good punch. I am still a novice in terms of a collector but from experience I know there are a few crucial things to keep in mind.

Shipping
Most of the time, when searching for a specific item, online stores are the best bet. Depending on the store that you're buying from, the shipping costs can range from $5.00USD to $30.00USD! Most stores that stock the rarer and newer items are located in Japan. EMS is usually chosen. EMS service from Japan to the United States has a base price of $15.00USD.

Sneaky Marketing
The big corporations know how to play the game and there's little shoppers can do about it. A single T.V. show can spawn thousands of collectable merchandise from stickers and capsule toys to calendars, figures and facial tissues. Collecting the entire set or just aiming for your favorite character can be quite difficult. Capsule toys and trading figures are all dispersed randomly so collectors will spend extra money on repeats. They are also more fond of releasing special, limited editions than Americans. Sometimes its not even special editions. For example, the English version of the popular Kingdom Hearts video game is always released in Japan with additional features. I know, it's not fair.

Living Standards
The high living standards in Japan make a major difference. Items in Japan are somewhat more pricey than in the U.S. because of that. Paying $25.00USD for an artist's regular album is pretty typical. Many soundtracks are divided into multiple CDs so the price of those naturally shoot up even higher.