I checked out Celga, but had a tough time deciphering all the Japanese. Their instructions are much clearer, but I signed up for a site called One Japan http://onejp-yahoo.com
Both sites and possibly others act as an agent for you to bid on auctions in Japan. You can search through these auctions, very similar to Ebay.
Here's how it works with ONEJP:
- Register with the site
- Search the auctions to find items you're interested in (I typically search for "Star Wars Kubrick")
- If you find something you want to bid on, you first have to send money via paypal. Plan on sending $50-75 extra, there is supposedly no charge to refund the money back to you later
- Once you have enough in your account, you can bid on an auction. What you're really doing is asking ONEJP to make the bid for you. When they see your bid request, they will make the bid on the auction as your representative.
- The auction price is clearly laid out. Some are even buy-it-now. My Hammerhead was listed as $222 starting price or $281 BIN. Ignore the fees listed off to the right. Here's what you will really pay:
- Auction Price
- Shipping in Japan (The seller ships the item to your agent). This is listed at like $27, but ends up being more like $5-7
- Bank Transfer Fee of $7 (unavoidable no matter how you pay)
- Comission Fee for your agent, ONEJP. This is how they make their money. You pay either 10% of the auction price or a minimum of $21
- ONEJP then ships the item to you and charges about $20-25
So, at minimum, plan on about $55 ($7 + $7 + $21 + $20) added to the price of your auction. It really isn't worth it for smaller cost items, though they will hold multiple winnings to save you money on the final US shipping. I won three diffferent auctions, so deferring the $21 shipping across three items cuts the price down to $7 each. Here was the cost breakdown for my Hammerhead:
$280 Auction + $5 Japan Shipping + $7 Bank Fee + $28 Commission + $7 US Shipping = $327 (I pumped $375 into my ONEJP account via paypal to make sure I had enough money)
Keep in mind that I have yet to receive any items or try out the bank refund. My Hammerhead should be there in a few days and then I'll have my lot sent out. I think I'll take a break for a while unless I see an AT-ST Driver or something.