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Figure Site and Shop Forum[Web Shop][Proxy] Big in Japan

  • Jellyo
    JellyoRegular Boarder • lv8
    Offline20 replies
    #1821
    10 days ago
    Jasurim1 month ago#99434694Hey guys. Just wondering, does anyone have any experience shipping 1/4th bunny figures from these guys? Specifically through Surface parcel/seamail. I know Seamail can have limits on their size, so I'm wondering if they will fit them in and allow you to ship them via seamail.
    I want to place some orders for them here, but I won't be able to afford to ship those via DHL, since EMS is still not available where I live and don't want to be left stuck.

    I think it depends on the figure. I just forwarded ITEM #872935 with Surface successfully, but a user mentioned having to use DHL for ITEM #740245 when purchasing from AmiAmi because it was too big (could just be AmiAmi packaging though). Regular standing bunnies should be safe.
  • LoveliLiya
    LoveliLiyaVocal Synthesizer OtakuRegular Boarder • lv9
    Offline2 replies
    #1822
    9 days ago
    (I posted a review on Big in Japan's forwarding services and was informed that MFC doesn't allow shop reviews as blogs. TT Someone in the comments suggested that I copy and paste it here, so that's exactly what I'm doing!)

    Hi, everyone, and welcome to my first MFC blog! ^^ Today, I'll be talking about my experience with Big In Japan's forwarding services! This is my first time writing a review in this format, and I looked at several similar posts to figure out what sort of things I should put here, so please forgive me if this blog looks similar to anyone else's. orz This will be pretty long, so feel free to skip to the sections you care about! Now, let's get into it!

    Why Did I Choose Big in Japan's Forwarding Services?
    Simple, really: I didn't want to pay From Japan's ¥300 per item fee again, so I decided to try forwarding services. xD The only two real options seemed to be BiJ's forwarding or Blackship. Blackship is owned by the people behind White Rabbit Express, so it's fees are extravagant like its beloved sister site. I went with BiJ because I figured it'd be cheaper and the name kept popping up in the Suruga-ya thread in the Figure Shop and Site Forum Club. During the rather long wait it took to get my order (entirely Suru's fault), I tried another proxy with fees cheaper than FJ that I think I will be sticking with for proxy orders from now on.

    Website Interface
    BiJ is definitely not the prettiest webshop in the world. At least, not on mobile. I mostly ignored the other products they had for sale because I was there for the forwarding service, which was easy to get to. I simply tapped on 'Menu', then I tapped 'Forwarding Service'. I was able to read anything I needed to know there. The biggest problem I had with the website is that when I added my forwarding ticket to the cart, it showed up three times, for some reason. So I tapped the grey 'x' thinking that I somehow added a couple of duplicates and was confused when my cart was suddenly empty. After adding the ticket to cart again, I noticed the same thing and came to the conclusion that that's just how their cart system is. It did say 'your shopping cart contains: 1 Product' regardless of how many times it appeared, so it's also my fault for not paying more attention.

    How Do You Use Big In Japan's Forwarding?
    Although I had never used a forwarding service before, I- luckily- didn't have too much of an issue, and I definitely owe that to the process being spelled out pretty well on the 'Forwarding Service' page I mentioned earlier. The difference between proxy services and forwarding services is that forwarding services have nothing to do with the actual purchasing. You go to a Japanese webshop that takes foreign credit cards and/or PayPal (in my case, Suruga-ya) and buy from them on your own. If you're like me, Google Translate is definitely your best friend here! Lol The twist is that when you are asked for the shipping address, the webshop obviously won't be able to ship to an overseas one (if they can, then you probably don't need a proxy or forwarding service at all), so you should enter BiJ's shipping address instead, which is outlined on the page on their site. Here is a guide on how to enter it when buying from Suruga-ya, which was very helpful for me:BLOG #16043
    Now you wait for that glorious shipping confirmation from the webshop to arrive in your email! Once it does, you return to BiJ to order a 'forwarding ticket'. There are two forwarding ticket options: 'original' for ¥500 and 'repackaging' for ¥1500. Regardless of which one you buy, now is when you will be choosing the shipping method of your package once they get it, and they are apparently very stubborn about changing it, so make sure you choose the method you would definitely prefer for your package to be shipped with. Also make sure to specify how many packages you are expecting, from what webshop(s), and a general description of what items should be in them in the 'comments' box when ordering. If you choose the 'original' ticket, once your items arrive at their warehouse, they're just going to slap a label on the packages, send you an invoice, then ship them once you pay. Probably no more, and definitely no less. So if the Japanese webshop(s) you ordered from do crappy packaging because they figure domestic shipping will be gentle on it then your stuff gets dinged up during the much more tumultuous international shipping, that is beyond what BiJ was paid to deal with, and if you do reach out to their customer service about it, I'm assuming they'll just remind you that you purchased an 'original' forwarding ticket. If you choose the 'repackaging' ticket, they'll open the box and add more padding, or if your items were shipped in an oversized packet/box because apparently box size doesn't affect domestic shipping prices in Japan (I'm jealous TT BTW, Suruga-ya is pretty well known for doing this), they should put your items in a smaller one to potentially cut down on shipping price. The 'repackaging' ticket is also the one to choose if you want stuff consolidated rather than every individual package just being shipped to you. Rather this is worth the extra ¥1000 or not is debatable, though. Anyway, they'll send your invoice, you'll (hopefully) pay, then BiJ will ship it to you! :3 You could always purchase your forwarding ticket immediately after ordering from the Japanese webshop, but I would advise against it just in case you get an unfortunate email that your items are out of stock.

    Waiting Time
    I sort of hinted at it earlier, but this was long, but only on Suruga-ya's behalf! From Japan warns you when you're about to order items from Suruga-ya through them that there may be an up to 20 day wait, and this seems to ring true no matter what or how much you are ordering from them. ^^; I bought my 2 items (Item #575900 and Item #72522) from Suru on 8/22/2021. I received an email saying that they'd ship my order after they confirmed that both items were in stock the next day, on 8/23/2021. On 8/28/2021, they sent me an email apologizing for my wait, which was nice but disappointing. On 9/02/2021, they sent a second apology email, saying they had wanted to ship my items that day after confirming that they were in stock but they were unable to (it was past their business hours for that). Finally, on 9/05/2021, I received my shipping confirmation from Suru and rushed to buy a forwarding ticket from BiJ! I got an email from BiJ saying that the package arrived in warehouse later that day, and since I had made it clear that I was only expecting one package and not waiting on any others, I was sent an invoice as well! I paid BiJ on 09/06/2021, and my package was swiftly shipped out later the same day! Since I paid for EMS shipping, it arrived on 09/14/2022, after a wait of only 8 days! \(^o^)/

    Communication
    I had no reason to contact Big in Japan's customer service, but I've heard that they're pretty hard to get in touch with, if you do. x_x This is very unfortunate if true, and definitely a point for Blackship. I guess I should consider myself lucky. They were definitely quick to tell me when my item had arrived and send an invoice, though.

    Shipping Options
    BiJ's forwarding services offer: Unregistered SAL Small Packet, Registered SAL Small Packet, Unregistered Airmail Small Packet, Registered Airmail Small Packet/Epacket, SAL Parcel Post, Air Parcel Post and EMS. As you can see, these are all JP Post methods, and they don't offer private couriers like UPS, FedEx and DHL. This is a con for sure, and another point for Blackship, who offer these methods (from what I can tell).

    Packaging
    For me, it was a no-brainer to pay the extra ¥1000 for a 'repackaging' ticket because I was buying a 1/7 scale figure, but between the time that I had bought my forwarding ticket and receiving my package, I read a few concerning comments that suggested that Suruga-ya's packaging is just fine for international shipping and BiJ's repackaging actually tends to make packages heavier, to the point that- if you're only forwarding a single package- you might be better off just getting whatever huge box Suru initially put your items in. Needless to say, this had me worried . . . ><
    Once the package arrived, the first thing I noticed was that it had not been marked as a gift, but- then again- I hadn't asked. That's something that should probably be specified under 'comments' when buying your forwarding ticket too. It was taped up well, and the EMS slip was on top, like it should be! The only damage it seemed to have sustained was a little wrinkle on top of the box!
    static.myfigure...
    static.myfigure...

    After opening it, I was greeted by this sight:
    static.myfigure...
    'Oh no' was what immediately went through my mind, assuming they had pulled the old 'fill the box with paper, and your items are actually sitting in a small area in the middle of the box being absolutely swallowed by it' trick, but when I picked up that layer of paper, this was what was beneath it:
    static.myfigure...
    As you can see here, my Sae badge and Luka figure were both bubble wrapped nice and securely and covered on all sides by more paper to keep them from moving around in the box! If BiJ had used a box even a bit smaller, Luka would have been really snug in there, so I don't think the box they used was too large so that they could overcharge on shipping at all!
    This is how much space was left between Luka and the bottom of the box:
    static.myfigure...
    Nearly none at all! I'm not sure what Suruga-ya's packaging is like, but I'm glad I paid for repackaging because it seems to have paid off in this case!

    Fees
    Ah, yes, fees! Here's a breakdown:
    Price of items - ¥4,450
    Suruga-ya mail order fee - ¥220
    'Repackaging' forwarding ticket - ¥1,500
    EMS shipping for a 1.1kg package - ¥4,340
    PayPal fee - ¥260

    So, in the end, it costed ¥6,100 to forward a ¥4,670 order from Suruga-ya, meaning somewhere around 107.70 USD was spent on a 1/7 scale figure and a can badge.

    Conclusion
    Yes, a lot of money was paid, but considering how securely my items were packaged and that I chose EMS for my shipping method, I feel that it was worth it! Big in Japan's forwarding service let me order from Suruga-ya and receive the items safely here in the USA, so I can hardly see a reason not to use it again! That said, there definitely are some. ¥1000 for repackaging is steep. With Blackship, repackaging is apparently free, and it is only 1 USD to send your package to their warehouse compared to BiJ's ¥500 (so about a 4 USD difference). I was also fortunate not to have an issue this time, but it's definitely frightening to think that it would be difficult to reach someone if I did. I think I will try Blackship the next time I require a forwarding service, but- who knows- maybe I'll return to Big in Japan in the future! After all, everything was simple enough, quick, and I got what I wanted! :3
    (PS. I can't resist adding that, depending on the price of the items I purchase, the proxy I'm using now might just be cheaper than forwarding! They charge a flat ¥300 commission fee if your order total is anywhere from ¥1-¥3000 and 10% of your order total if it is anywhere from ¥3001-¥10000! The proxy I'm speaking of is JP Shopping Service, and they've been nothing but great, so far!)
  • PanchitoMatte
    PanchitoMatteEmilia-tan Maji Tenshi!Regular Boarder • lv14
    Offline15 replies
    #1823
    6 days ago
    Hey all. :D Has anyone here recently shipped a scale figure from Big in Japan? I'm looking to know their shipping prices, roughly. I'm trying to gauge the accuracy of their estimated amount compared to what they ultimately charge when the figures are ready to ship. I appreciate any and all feedback!
  • indian_summer22
    indian_summer22Regular Boarder • lv14
    Offline94 replies
    #1824
    5 days ago • Updated 4 days ago
    PanchitoMatte6 days ago#101406250Hey all. :D Has anyone here recently shipped a scale figure from Big in Japan? I'm looking to know their shipping prices, roughly. I'm trying to gauge the accuracy of their estimated amount compared to what they ultimately charge when the figures are ready to ship. I appreciate any and all feedback!

    They are my main store. In all my years ordering from them I've only had like two instances where they asked for more money after release. Their estimates are usually accurate. At least for me.
  • PanchitoMatte
    PanchitoMatteEmilia-tan Maji Tenshi!Regular Boarder • lv14
    Offline15 replies
    #1825
    4 days ago
    indian_summer225 days ago#101461773They are my main store. In all my years ordering from them I only haf like two instances where they asked for more money after release. Their estimates are usually accurate. At least for me.Roger that. That's all I needed to know. Thank you, thank you! :)
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