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Joko3

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UPDATED: June 15, 2022

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO NEW ORDERS. WILL RE-OPEN BY AUGUST 1, 2022

Hello everyone. For those who do not know me, my name is Joey. I’m an American living in Yokohama with my wife and am currently attending language school full time. I’m a recent graduate of an international business program in Tokyo. Before I made the move out here, I was an electronics technician in the US Navy for ten years. I’ve been a member of Arcade Projects for five years now and am very thankful to be a part of this community. I want to do something to give back while also making a little pocket money while I continue my studies.

Seeing how Japan seems like it will be closed off to tourism for quite a while longer, I’ve decided to take @djsheep advice and offer mule services to forum members that would like to do some game shopping from Yahoo Auctions Japan as well as stores such as Beep, Surugaya, Tops, Sophia, Game-Kanaya, etc. I can also hunt down not-listed-online items at stores such as Super Potato, Friends, or Trader if you are looking for console stuff.

All items will be inspected and carefully packed before leaving my home to yours. I will pack with anti-static bubble wrap, air cushions, and quality boxes. You will receive multiple photos of the item along with the packing. If I am able to test, you will also get a private YouTube video of the test.

If any issues arise during my inspection of the items, I will deal with the sellers myself. No need to involve yourself in the Google Translate battle. If the seller misrepresented the item, I’ll go to bat for you. That being said, please note many Japanese stores DO NOT accept returns, or at least make them painstakingly difficult. That is just how it goes here. I will do everything in my power to try and help you, but there is always a small chance of getting burned.

Example:
Since November 2021 nobody I've done a transaction with has bad bad luck; however, I was sold two bad 9" PVMs that I bought for myself on YAJ that were listed as "operation ok". I even had to pay a 6000 yen recycling fee to get them out of my house. All said and done, over 35000 yen down the drain.

Shipping:

Everything will be shipped via Japan Post EMS or Yamato Express (UPS). There is no DHL or FedEx even remotely close to me, so please don’t ask; these services are primarily for professional use here with offices few and far between. Please understand I can only ship via Yamato Express on Saturday or Sunday; my wife uses our car during the week to commute to work. I can ship Japan Post most days of the week. Please note that sometimes items are delayed because I have to hunt down a proper box for your items. In general, I think most of the time the original box your item was shipped in isn't big enough to pack to my standard.

Pricing:

Pricing will be based on the time that will be involved in your order and how many other people sign up for a shopping trip. My rate for my time is 2000 yen per hour. Most transactions under 100k yen are charged between 3000 and 6000 yen. A small charge (200-600) yen for packing materials is also charged. I use high-quality static-resistant pink bubble wrap and air cushions and measure as I go. For items over 100,000 yen, I charge a flat 7% rate. For larger orders of multiple items, I will price on a case-by-case basis depending on the work involved. I believe this is reasonable for the care that will be involved in your order.

I am well aware there are cheaper third-party options for Yahoo Japan, but they don’t care about your order. I do.

PROCESS:

All items must be paid in Yen via PayPal friends and family unless you live in a country that does not allow it. I use my own money to purchase items upfront and then pay them back with your Paypal after the item arrives. Prior to shipping, you will be billed for the shipping to my house (if applicable), shipping to your house, packing materials, misc fees (such as COD fees for old school sellers), and my service fee. Once this is paid up I will ship the item. If you are a repeat customer this process can be a little more flexible.
 
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djsheep

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I can vouch highly for @Joko3 service and his attention to detail and packing. This is a great option to hop on stuff that pops up on PCB stores and other things unobtainable via mail order.

Perhaps you can post up a list of stores you have access to, etc. man.
 

GeeDee

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This rocks; definitely will be reaching out about some particular stuff in the future that I've been hardpressed to find- but for now, thanks for offering your services! These rates are extremely reasonable given the one-on-one detail you're offering in comparison to the Yaj gamble. I used to know someone that used to do this same kind of service for tracking down vintage/niche artists' music CDs, and can definitely attest having the personal touch when looking for things can be absolutely invaluable!

I'll have to hit you up if/when travel for students becomes a little easier. The lines are a little long atm and I want to get one, maybe two more classes under my belt first, but I've been looking into some study abroad programs myself since going back to school for CS + language some time ago. If I go, I want to be able to actually make use of the time to bulk up on conversation experience instead of just "going to go". :P We'll have to get some street fighter in for sure :thumbup:
 

Joko3

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This rocks; definitely will be reaching out about some particular stuff in the future that I've been hardpressed to find- but for now, thanks for offering your services! These rates are extremely reasonable given the one-on-one detail you're offering in comparison to the Yaj gamble. I used to know someone that used to do this same kind of service for tracking down vintage/niche artists' music CDs, and can definitely attest having the personal touch when looking for things can be absolutely invaluable!

I'll have to hit you up if/when travel for students becomes a little easier. The lines are a little long atm and I want to get one, maybe two more classes under my belt first, but I've been looking into some study abroad programs myself since going back to school for CS + language some time ago. If I go, I want to be able to actually make use of the time to bulk up on conversation experience instead of just "going to go". :P We'll have to get some street fighter in for sure :thumbup:
Definitely a good plan. I'd recommend doing whatever classes your local community college offers. They likely use the same Genki books that language schools here use for the beginner classes. You could go through the books on your own, but you'll be more likely to do so with someone holding you accountable lol.
 

Joko3

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How big can your shipments be? What are you willing to deal with?
It has to fit inside a Honda Fit lol.

I'll be doing the Akiba runs on foot, but I'm willing to have a loaded backpack and two heavy-ass shopping bags or one big box. As for online orders, almost anything goes, BUT I seriously need to fit it inside my car to get it to a shipping center.

As my Japanese improves, maybe by the end of 2022 I can start arranging cabinets and such to be shipped. I'm lower intermediate at best right now, but am in school five days a week where no English is allowed.
 
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Joko3

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Update:

Order on Surugaya website just made. One of those free service slots is now used up ; ). Bidding on an item via YAJ tonight. Shopping lists from four people were submitted for tomorrow's Akiba trip. If anybody else wants to get in on this run please let me know before 12 pm tomorrow Japan time. I am going straight to Akiba from Yokohama Station after school.
 

djsheep

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@Joko3 can you see what the deal is for the Beep version of Deathsmiles for Switch?
 

Joko3

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@Joko3 can you see what the deal is for the Beep version of Deathsmiles for Switch?
Edit: Appears to just be a custom-made box with three art pieces; no special in-game content. Pre-orders are sold out for both PS4 and Switch.
 
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djsheep

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All good, I might ask for your services at release as they usually have stock in-store. Thanks bro!
 

Joko3

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All good, I might ask for your services at release as they usually have stock in-store. Thanks bro!
I'll show up at the store when it's released and try to pick up two copies if they let me. One for you at the very least : )

Physical Mushihimesama with the little arcade stand is coming out on Monday btw.
 

Joko3

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Nice of you to offer the service! I’m curious… When it comes to arcade pcb’s, is the in-person inventory different from what the stores publish online? eg http://www.mak-jp.com/kiban.html
MAK only updates on Friday afternoons, so whatever arrives from Friday to Friday will not be listed. Beep! only lists their inventory online during non-business hours. If the store is physically open, you can't order online (it's literally not even posted). This gets updated every day and is fairly accurate. I've never been inside Try or G-Front, so I'm not sure about them. I will try going to Try today (da dum tchhhh). Correct me if I'm wrong @Stupid Dufus , but I believe G-Front is weird and you have to knock on the door and tell them what you want and then the dude shuts the door in your face and shows up with the item later (am I thinking of somewhere else?).
 

KalessinDB

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Shit I'm gonna have to get together a list of Akumajou Dracula stuff I need...
 

KalessinDB

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Are you interested in Japanese strategy guides for them? I see them from time to time.
I'm kinda Castlevania obsessed, and haven't gotten any Japanese print stuff for it (really my only imported stuff is a handful of games) so yeah probably :)

I'll get it figured out over the weekend when I'm not at work (the joys of emergency services! Holidays? Oh you mean extra-money days!) and hit you up.
 

Stupid Dufus

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Correct me if I'm wrong @Stupid Dufus , but I believe G-Front is weird and you have to knock on the door and tell them what you want and then the dude shuts the door in your face and shows up with the item later (am I thinking of somewhere else?).
Hahaha yeah, one of the weirdest places I purchased from in Japan. Can't even find it unless you are actively looking for the place. Rang the door bell, guy opened the door partially asking what I wanted. Asked him if he had a Capcom IO. Invited me to step inside.

While he dug around for it, he told me it's cash only. So I had to leave and hit up a nearby ATM. Came back, handed over the cash, got the IO and left.

From what I remember the inside had a lot of sleeves full of boards, but they were on the other side of the room and it was dimly lit inside.

I think I read online years ago GFront used to be more of a store front. I think the website now even asks that you schedule a time in advance to stop by.
 

Kavas

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I remember the story of a place to buy arcade hardware but you never go when the son/owner is there. You have to wait for the mother/granny to be in there. The son will shoo away any gaijin. Think he wants to keep stuff in Japan more than he wants the money. The granny doesn't care and sells it to baka gaijin. :)

I haven't been to Japan since I got deeper into this hobby. First time was 2008 and last time was around 2014. I visited quite a few arcades in akihabara. The usual tourist traps. WHEN I go again, I will most def check out Mikado. Then some arcade sales places. Make a journey on that alone. Hopefully before everything shuts down. Next time they open their borders to baka gaijin for sure!
 
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