Store Check: Rakuten Global Market

You might have seen the “shopping links” down to the right on this blog. These are not stores that I’m affiliated with, but rather stores that I usually use to secure delicious loot. Some of these might be familiar, Amazon, for example but others less well known. I thought that I maybe could try and introduce some of these stores – after all, sharing is caring, right? :p

Today I thought we could kick things off by taking a look at one of the more interesting entries on the list.


The rundown:
Rakuten Global Market seems quite bewildering at first. I will openly admit to not understanding all of which is happens on the main page – I do my shopping by searching for the things I want.

Rakuten seems to operate in a similar manner to Amazon, with a lot of other stores actually providing the items for sale. Most of these stores seem to have a clear idea of what kind of store they strive to be – there’s a little bit of everything really.

I mostly (and by mostly I mean always) end up shopping from Surugaya-a-too because they seem to have almost everything I’m in the market for. They have games, movies, anime on DVD, LD & VHS, music, games, the occasional doujinshi…you get the idea. Most of these things are offered at a very generous price, even though some items still stand out for being quit expensive. But most cool stuff is sold for an mouth-watering low price, save for DVDs, which can be quite costly. Did I mention the selection is awesome? I did? Well,  it is.
Go ahead and search for some obscure 80s or 90s OVA and you are likely to encounter both LaserDiscs and maybe the soundtrack. Sometimes you might find an artbook and doujins as well. The same thing works with games: A quick search for “Sega Saturn” will yield fabulous results~!

Now, there is a backside to all of this – shipping. I’m not sure about other stores under the Rakuten umbrella but Surugaya-a-too doesn’t specify the shipping when you’re browsing or when you’re checking out. Instead, they’ll gather the things you ordered and then get back to you with a total price for everything including shipping.* That is to say, EMS shipping. And that, as you can see here, starts expensive and only gets worse as the list goes on. NO REMORSE D:
So, even if that LD or artbook doesn’t cost you much, the shipping definitely will. Having an idea of how much stuff weighs is a way to keep costs down when shopping. If you don’t know, start small, be ready for the price and the next time, you’re a little wiser. Your wallet might hate you but it’ll go better from there. Possibly.

The good thing with EMS is that once shipped, it arrives pretty fast and you get a tracking number which can be looked up on a site like this.

The good:
★ Extensive selection of both old and new stuff. High chance to encounter rare and obscure loot.
★ The prices before shipping.

The bad:
☆ The Japanese name for whatever it is you’re searching for might be needed to yield the best search results, also, machine-translated item names & descriptions can make things confusing. Use the option to view the current page in Japanese to better understand what it is you’re looking at.
☆ The selection might be great but a large number of items are still out of stock.
☆ Depending on the seller, prepare for some serious shipping prices.
☆ Somewhat confusing to use.

Good for:
Securing all kinds of interesting loot, especially uncommon things like LDs, old games and soundtracks.

* The amount of time it takes for them to get back to you might vary depending on the content of your order (more items seems to increase the wait) and you might receive a few different mails from Rakuten during this period. If you’re shopping from Surugaya-a-too, be on a lookout for a mail written partly in english, asking for you to check and confirm the order.

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About Ji-L87

Laid back swede with an for affection games, sweet music and specific parts of Japanese pop culture.

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