Tutorial on Japanese guitar auctions and importing?

Ph03n1x

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The next step for me, will be to learn the different grades of guitars from specific manufacturer’s.
Depends on the era. Early 80s, I would look at 500 + series Greco and 50 + Tokai. 80s Burny LPs were often good too. 2000s then it is probably Navigator and other newer brands like Crews, Momose, Bacchus etc. But there are tons of other brands. Aria Pro II had some good stuff in the 80s. Ornetts were a short lived brand in 2000s. Many even more obscure brands as well. Try to figure out your preference in terms of neck profile. Things like nitro, nibs etc are all going to model specific as well.
 

BadMongo

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And in terms of grades, a lot of those Grecos/Burnys/Tokais have it right there in the name: 50 or 500 was 50,000 yen new, an EG800 was 80,000, etc. One that gets overlooked a lot is Yamaha - I have a Studio Lord with a damn agathis body and maple neck and it's a tone monster. You'll see SL500s and up (I don't know if the lower ones are MIJ, but that's the set neck cutoff) for fairly cheap on the auctions - the slightly later Lord Players were (I think) mahogany body/neck (as were the higher grade Studio Lords) and have a more authentic looking headstock. I saw a LP1000 go for ~$500 a couple days ago and that is a lot of guitar for that money.
The pickups in my ~1980 SL500S are seriously wonky compared to "normal" humbuckers (neck measured something like 6.8k, didn't check magnets but big hex screws for both coils, only one side through the baseplate, foam spacers, didn't pull the magnet - bridge had a dead coil but working one was about 3.5k) - just very much a marching to the beat of their own drum situation in terms of the build, but man they sound good.
 

danlunatic

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And yet, I've still been finding decent deals and buying using From Japan without issue. In fact, their service seems to keep improving. They are responsive to requests. Shipping via FedEx priority has been efficient and reasonable.
I recently had a very smooth experience with From japan. After getting dicked all up and down by Buyee.
 

Central Scrutinizer

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Thanks to everyone who contributed.
I usually subscribe to the , “ no guts, no glory” philosophy,
but man, I think I will buy used and already imported to the States!

Too wound-up usually for additional drama in my life!

Thanks again.
 

soliloquy

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For those who are having issues shipping from Japan, is it from certain sites? or ANYTHING shipping out of japan, guitar related, is having issues?

i ask as someone on reverb is selling a guitar i want, and its in japan. debating on purchasing it, or wait till covid is done, and japan shipping is sorted out, and then buy it?
 

currypowder

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For those who are having issues shipping from Japan, is it from certain sites? or ANYTHING shipping out of japan, guitar related, is having issues?

i ask as someone on reverb is selling a guitar i want, and its in japan. debating on purchasing it, or wait till covid is done, and japan shipping is sorted out, and then buy it?
FAIK, EMS is still not shipping to the US.

Seems that Buyee is the main culprit in restricting international shipments.. I've had no problems with FromJapan using FedEx. Is the reverb seller a store? Like Ishibashi? The stores I've dealt with have mainly used DHL as their shipper of choice.

If it is a store, you might do a little better on price if you deal with the store directly vs. buying off reverb. The reverb listings don't always reflect sales that the store may have going on. Go to their website and search for the guitar you're looking at.
 

Roxy13

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If it's coming from a store they are using DHL or another similar courier. Ishibashi is using DHL currently for shipping to the US.
 

soliloquy

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FAIK, EMS is still not shipping to the US.

Seems that Buyee is the main culprit in restricting international shipments.. I've had no problems with FromJapan using FedEx. Is the reverb seller a store? Like Ishibashi? The stores I've dealt with have mainly used DHL as their shipper of choice.

If it is a store, you might do a little better on price if you deal with the store directly vs. buying off reverb. The reverb listings don't always reflect sales that the store may have going on. Go to their website and search for the guitar you're looking at.
it is from a store based in Japan. I never thought of that to go to them directly.
If the States is getting hit with this, i wonder what Canada would face, as id be shipping that to Toronto, Canada.

good point, i'll check their website
 

currypowder

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it is from a store based in Japan. I never thought of that to go to them directly.
If the States is getting hit with this, i wonder what Canada would face, as id be shipping that to Toronto, Canada.

good point, i'll check their website
I think EMS will deliver to Canada, but I'm not 100% sure on that one.
 

Roxy13

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Last I knew EMS was still shipping to Canada. EMS is still working for most countries actually. I think some people here on MLP don't realize that when they are all upset about shipping costs and blaming the proxies and the websites. They aren't going to redo the entire website for the US and maybe a handful of other countries.
 

wulfman

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EMS has been suspended to Canada for a few months now.
 

soliloquy

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FAIK, EMS is still not shipping to the US.

Seems that Buyee is the main culprit in restricting international shipments.. I've had no problems with FromJapan using FedEx. Is the reverb seller a store? Like Ishibashi? The stores I've dealt with have mainly used DHL as their shipper of choice.

If it is a store, you might do a little better on price if you deal with the store directly vs. buying off reverb. The reverb listings don't always reflect sales that the store may have going on. Go to their website and search for the guitar you're looking at.
just checked. the store doesn't seem to have a website. at least not one that is found on google for the first few pages. Reverb it is.

and now i'm getting conflicting info on if EMS is or IS NOT running...

i may just let this slide and wait for covid to be over and resume my search. IT is an edwards at a great price.
 

Lumi71

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I alwaYs vote for fromjapan and shipping with fedex.
very fair shipping rates, 3 days to my door from Japan+ fj has basicly no fees.
never had a damage in about 50 shipments either.
 


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