Amazon’s Japanese shipping initiative is pretty unreal

How do you even compete with it?

So uh, Amazon just opened the floodgates for shipping Japanese items (read: games and consoles) internationally, and it’s had a pretty significant impact on me already. While I’ve always dabbled in importing the niche game here and there, I usually only relegate the practice to a few times per year, as things start to add up. But the ease of use with this new system is pretty dangerous!

Take my first order, for example. Since it likely will never come out in the west, I went ahead and imported the 3DS edition of Theatrhythm Dragon Quest (note that the 3DS is region locked, so you’ll need a Japanese system too). I placed my order on March 13, and got it yesterday by way of DHL. I paid 976 yen (roughly $8.50), with a $7 shipping cost, which ended up being two day shipping. Most of the people I’ve interviewed throughout the week have had the exact same experience.

I noticed a few minor annoyances on the site itself, like the fact that some things that are marked for international shipping (and are provided by Amazon) don’t trigger the program, and that it’s really tough to actually find and sort listings to only display Amazon dealers, but after a few hours of using the site, you learn your way around.

Before you say anything this isn’t an ad (I didn’t include any links just in case) — just an observation, and a glimpse into the world of importing. I mean, how do other sites compete with this, really? This is the least painless importing process I’ve ever had. No weeks of parcels getting held up at customs, and so on. If you haven’t tried it already, go for it.

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!