I have been using mainly Goody Japan as a proxy service for my OCG cards purchases but also Rakuten and some other minor proxies from time to time. I just quite recently discovered a newly revamped proxy service provider From Japan and it’s looking damn good! If you don’t know what a proxy services are, they are parties who basically just collect your orders within that particular country and then sends them to you. Meaning in this case, you could buy OCG cards easily in a rather direct manner from Japanese sellers using a Japanese proxy service.
The Finnish DM community has now made one big order using From Japan and everything went just smoothly and the interface is clear and very easy to use. Especially when compared to Goody Japan, which was a mess: even the log in button there looked like an advertisement, not to mention the prices were a lot higher.
1) Commissions and Other Fees
From Japan doesn’t charge commission when ordering items. They also don’t charge you a fee for using their service. But instead of this, they offer you 2 insurance plans to choose from: One of which is for 700 yen/order and pretty much covers everything and the other is for 300 yen/order and it offers you a pretty much just a basic forwarding. I highly recommend going for that 700 yen’s Buyer Protection Plan especially if you are including multiple orders in your order. Additionally, if you are using your Paypal or a direct bank transaction, you are charged for 200 yens for each completed shopping order and auctions. However, if you use a credit card for paying. Even with 200 yens, it’s not a bad price: We had to pay 200 yen for every small auction but still it was totally worth it ordering even items that would have cost 100 yen for Japanese people.
EDIT (14.7.2017) For low-priced auctions 300 yen's insurance plan is what I've been using even when combining. Haven't failed thus far. and you actually save a lot by doing that.
EDIT (14.7.2017) It wasn't perfectly clear above, but for Yahoo Auction items, you are always charged 200 yens, even when transferring money using a credit card.
It’s very important to keep in mind that you can combine multiple orders into one order but you need to pay 500 yen for it. When combining orders, you have them all shipped you at once and thus you save a lot in postage. For the price of 500 yen, you can combine as many orders (as long as they are from the same seller) as you want and the insurance plan price is also charged just for once. So combining is actually very affordable and recommended for just 500 yen.
EDIT (14.7.2017) You can only combine orders purchased from the same seller and during the same day. More information can be found on From Japan's Q&A.
Finally, we come to the shipping costs, which are pretty basic and they are around the same as on other proxy services. From Japan is even offering a wide variety of different options like SAL, EMS and FedEx. For a small order the cost is usually around 800 yen, so it’s not that bad, especially if you are doing this with a group of people.
All in all, in addition to the actual cost of the item and its domestic shipping, you pay 0 or 200 yen for the payment transaction, 300 or 500 yen for the insurance plan for the whole order and 500 yen for combining multiple items into one order thus saving on postage and insurance plan fees. The final thing you have to pay is the international postage.
2) Searching and Keeping Track on Your Orders
In addition to From Japan being very affordable, the system is very easy to use. To search cards, you just have to use the Japanese names provided by our beloved DM Wiki community and just copy-paste them intto the search field on From Japan. The search engine search webpages like Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo Auctions, Amazon JP and Rakuten for matches and you can order search results based on their price, relevance etc. It’s also very easy to keep on track on your ordered items and to know when From Japan has got them and then send them a send request so that they’ll send you the ordered items. The interface is very impressive and I wont spend any more time writing about it.
EDIT (14.7.2017) Personally, I prefer searching directly using Yahoo Actions and Yahoo Shopping and then copy-paste the link of the original listing into From Japan's search engine and it will directly give you the listing in From Japan's system where you can bid on it or purchase it directly, depending on the listing. I very rarely buy items outside Yahoo Auctions/Shopping.
4) More on From Japan
To learn more about From Japan and their proxy service, I recommend checking their website (http://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/).
Here you can find more about their revamped service and finally here you can find their very clear Q&A (http://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/qanda).
Don’t hesitate to ask more either here or via pm.
Last edited by ELTP on 12.03.18 16:21; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Added clarifications)