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Old Jun 26, 12, 6:57 pm   #1
 
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Shopping online in Japan / Tokyo (for camera)

Hi! I'm planning to buy a camera online while staying in Tokyo. (Yes, it's much cheaper there and I'm aware of the warranty issues, interface possibly being set to Japanese etc).

So basically I just search kakaku.com, choose the lowest price, enter my details (finding out what they are asking for with google translate), and they deliver it to my hotel? Can I pay with cash it's credit card only?

Are there any bait-and-switch scams in TYO or any store will be OK? Anything else to be aware of? Guess I can't ask them to remove tax, can I?
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Old Jun 26, 12, 7:18 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by Viks View Post
Hi! I'm planning to buy a camera online while staying in Tokyo. (Yes, it's much cheaper there and I'm aware of the warranty issues, interface possibly being set to Japanese etc).

So basically I just search kakaku.com, choose the lowest price, enter my details (finding out what they are asking for with google translate), and they deliver it to my hotel? Can I pay with cash it's credit card only?

Are there any bait-and-switch scams in TYO or any store will be OK? Anything else to be aware of? Guess I can't ask them to remove tax, can I?
Payment details are on the seller's site. Prepayment without a card is a bit challenging from outside the country though.

Bait and Switch in Japan by a proper business? Ah, no.
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Old Jun 26, 12, 7:43 pm   #3
 
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Kakaku.com's store listing are the smaller, non-chain types. A quick glance shows most stores only accept 代金引換 (cash on delivery) or 銀行振込 (bank transfer) for delivery orders. This might create complications with hotel as third party in the transaction.

I have done this in the past, using kakaku.com to do price research, but purchased the camera at a physical store in Akihabara that sells it at the same price as their web site/kakaku.com. Look at the "在庫・発送の目安" (in stock, shipping) column for "店頭同価" (same price in store), and "地域" (region) column for "東京" (Tokyo). Check the store web site for directions to the stores. Also, it will be easier to inquire if they can do 免税 (menzei, tax exemption) in person, as the merchant will need to see your passport and staple the form into it. Not all stores can process tax exemption.

Bait and switch or grey market goods should not be a problem, but check over the model number and warranty certificate, which should bear the store's chop, just in case.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 12:07 am   #4
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Originally Posted by Viks View Post
Hi! I'm planning to buy a camera online while staying in Tokyo. (Yes, it's much cheaper there and I'm aware of the warranty issues, interface possibly being set to Japanese etc).
Beyond the usual language issues, I recommend shopping at a brick-and-mortar (or reinforced concrete, as it were) store, both because you can test the exact unit you buy on the spot and because prices from online stores that accept credit cards aren't appreciably lower than those from the big electronics retailers. Also, Yamada Denki will often be willing to lower their price to meet you halfway compared to the lowest prices on kakaku.com. The tax rebate process is easier as well.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 1:06 am   #5
 
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Thanks! Regarding payment – I would actually prefer paying in cash since I have accumulated quite a lot of yen.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 1:12 am   #6
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Beyond the usual language issues, I recommend shopping at a brick-and-mortar (or reinforced concrete, as it were) store, both because you can test the exact unit you buy on the spot and because prices from online stores that accept credit cards aren't appreciably lower than those from the big electronics retailers. Also, Yamada Denki will often be willing to lower their price to meet you halfway compared to the lowest prices on kakaku.com. The tax rebate process is easier as well.
Agree 100%
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Old Jun 27, 12, 9:51 am   #7
 
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Also, Yamada Denki will often be willing to lower their price to meet you halfway compared to the lowest prices on kakaku.com. The tax rebate process is easier as well.
Does it matter in which branch I try to bargain? With some effort I found Yamada Denki Shinbashi which is quite close to my hotel, I'll probably try that one first.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 11:17 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by msb0b View Post
I have done this in the past, using kakaku.com to do price research, but purchased the camera at a physical store in Akihabara that sells it at the same price as their web site/kakaku.com. Look at the "在庫・発送の目安" (in stock, shipping) column for "店頭同価" (same price in store), and "地域" (region) column for "東京" (Tokyo). Check the store web site for directions to the stores. Also, it will be easier to inquire if they can do 免税 (menzei, tax exemption) in person, as the merchant will need to see your passport and staple the form into it. Not all stores can process tax exemption.
Thanks for this, it was very helpful! I assumed the cheapest stores were online only but that turns out not to be true.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 11:30 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by armagebedar View Post
The tax rebate process is easier as well.
I am starting to envy foreign passport holders because the Diet has just approved doubling the consumption tax rate.

Double the sales tax? Japanese see hit to wallets, little impact on national debt | MinnPost
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Old Jun 27, 12, 8:40 pm   #10
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Does it matter in which branch I try to bargain? With some effort I found Yamada Denki Shinbashi which is quite close to my hotel, I'll probably try that one first.
The best places to negotiate are where there are competing chains located very close to one another (i.e. Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya). I can't say that you will strike out at the store in Shimbashi, but you'll have a better chance at the stores in Ikebukuro or Shinjuku -- especially if you have visited a Bic or Yodobashi beforehand to see what their prices are and use that as ammunition. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that stores generally offer 10% cash back on most purchases in the form of points, so you might be able to get a better deal if you agree to pay in cash and don't need points.
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Old Jun 28, 12, 10:50 am   #11
 
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I will just put in a good word for Fujiya camera shop in Nakano. You'll find helpful, knowledgeable staff and very competitive prices; there's also a fair selection of used cameras and lenses if you want to save a bit more money. Much more pleasant than shopping at the chain shops, and roughly the same price.
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Old Jun 30, 12, 8:42 am   #12
 
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What kind of camera? My experience is USA is cheaper.
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Old Jun 30, 12, 10:02 am   #13
 
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What kind of camera? My experience is USA is cheaper.
I agree. The only advantage of shopping in Japan is that they might have newer models (or models that are in colors you'd never see in other countries).

I have bought cameras in Japan three times: once, as a student, because I didn't want to be the only person in the entire country taking pictures with a Kodak Instamatic, and twice on later trips because my existing camera broke.

The prices are about the same as or more than in the U.S., especially with the yen stronger than it has ever been in my lifetime (about 80 to the U.S. dollar).

If you MUST buy a camera in Japan, I'd suggest going for discontinued or second-hand models.
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Old Jun 30, 12, 12:03 pm   #14
 
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If you MUST buy a camera in Japan, I'd suggest going for discontinued or second-hand models.
Amazon.co.jp's "what's popular" search is a good place to find such models. Many of bestseller models are bestsellers because they are heavily discounted.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 4:11 am   #15
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if I pay for my purchase in credit card online ahead of delivery time, how likely are Japanese hotels be willing to receive packages for me, if it might get delivered before my stay?

I am in a similar situation, but instead of camera, I am thinking of buying some toys that are cheaper online. I will be staying in a hotel for 5 nights, which gives the delivery time a decent margin of error, but still, if possible I would like to have it delivered earlier, to make sure that I can get it before I check out and leave Japan. I am wondering if it is too weird to ask the hotel to receive something before I check in...
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