Tutorial on Japanese guitar auctions and importing?

wulfman

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Just FYI, there will be a special surcharge on EMS shipments from June 1 2021 for Oceania, North America, Central America, Near and Middle East, and Europe. I am not sure how much that will be but the postal guy seemed to think it will be a 50% surcharge which would bring most shipments to around $180 US.

It does say North America and since EMS is suspended to the US and Canada maybe this means that it may restart in June. Hmm.....
 

Roxy13

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Just based on that news the 2 I have at Jauce would probably be cheaper EMS then instead of DHL. I guess I'll wait one more month. Thanks, Wulfman.
 

Mark_the_Knife

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Advice from someone who just got into this - shipping sucks and I mean sucks right now, so maybe don't dig in too far yet.
It's May and I got one 45 lb package (not a guitar, but electronic equipment) shipped by FedEx. Box was beat up by the delivery company, and was routed through customs in Alaska. Weird, huh? I would hold off buying until EMS can rout through US Express mail. Either that, or find a good seller located in the US.
 

wulfman

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currypowder

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I wouldn't say it's a coinflip. Over the last 10-ish weeks, I've had 10 guitars shipped via FedEx Priority using FromJapan as my proxy. It was a wide variety of guitars, some with cases, some without, some big some small. The average FedEx Priority shipping charge over those 10 was $160 with a high of $190 and a low of $130. So EMS with a surcharge looks to be quite a bit more. Plus, with the exception of the winter storm that shut Memphis down, FedEx delivers in 1-2 days vs closer to a week for EMS/USPS. Less time in transit equals less chance of damage, IMO. YMMV

However, having EMS as an option might give us US based gear whores the ability to pick up a @wulfman special from time to time!
 

Roxy13

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Ok but mine was $223 to ship FedEx without a case so it would have been a coin toss for me.

And right now I have 2 guitars at Jauce that have been there for 5-6 months. I bought them right before DHL decided to double the prices from Jauce so I've either had to sit on them or wait it out as I didn't want to spend $300 per guitar to get them.
 

Roxy13

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I should add that FromJapan put it in a box twice as big as it needed and let it just flop around all over. Thankfully the seller packed it well inside the gigbag or I think I would have gotten a broken guitar. The box was all smashed and torn too when it got here. So I'm no longer excited about using that service or FedEx.
 

currypowder

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I should add that FromJapan put it in a box twice as big as it needed and let it just flop around all over. Thankfully the seller packed it well inside the gigbag or I think I would have gotten a broken guitar. The box was all smashed and torn too when it got here. So I'm no longer excited about using that service or FedEx.
Yeah, I was disappointed with FJ for that one. But, in my experience, that was definitely an outlier. Over the past year or so, FJ boxes and packaging ahve been more than sufficient. That being said, I would have the same reaction, Roxy.
 

Ph03n1x

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So is there a general consensus on who is good to use currently?
 

Roxy13

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I'm not sure right now. FJ did a good job with my SG in March and then a horrid job with the Bacchus so ?

I'll probably return to Jauce with the return of EMS. EMS might be expensive now but Jauce packs guitars to survive pretty much anything.
 

currypowder

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So is there a general consensus on who is good to use currently?
There is not a no-risk option. So much can happen between a seller, proxy, shipper and buyer. I might have a near perfect record with From Japan, then Roxy has a terrible experience.

I've tried to buy 2 guitars using Zenmarket lately and found them to be very slow moving and frustrating to the point I lost the opportunity to get what I was trying to buy. Definitely a first world problem.

I have had some damage happen with both FJ and Rinkya and in all cases the shipping method was EMS/USPS. Both proxies compensated me for the damage.

Personally, I use From Japan exclusively and will continue to do so until something convinces me otherwise.
 

Dino Velvet

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I'll take fedex any day . I've had too many guitars sit at JFK for days and sometimes weeks . Never had a prob with Fedex other that the Memphis thing earlier. Ave LP fedex from Rinkya to east coast is about $200- ($195-$220) but it gets here in 72 hrs with no hassle. except Fedex leaves them on the porch even though they require a sig. Maybe the latter will change with the new mask mandates.
 

Roxy13

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I'm not sure, but we haven't been able to use SEA for the US for at least a year now. Guitars are too large they say despite the size of those containers and the number you can put on one ship.
 

zombywoof

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Central Scrutinizer

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Update:

Just notified by From Japan that FedEx stated they lost the guitar. They have no idea where it could be.
From Japan, with their Buyers Protection refunded my money.
I had the choice of a refund, or a credit towards a future purchase.

Having dipped my toe in the water of Japanese Imports, found it too cold for me. I admire you that do the self-importing! You have my respect and admiration.

I thank Roxy13, Currypowder and Zombywoof for their support and concern during this ordeal.
They are all MLP Members who I call friends!
 


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