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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Quick question for you ... a friend is going to Japan next month and offered to look for a watch for me. He is mostly going to be around Hokkaido (Sapporo).

1. Can you suggest any retail stores in the area?
2. Any price advantages to buying in Japan vs. the USA?
3. What type of discounts from MSRP do you expect to get from a retailer?
34 Are there any models (mainly divers) that are hard to get in the USA and this could be my chance to get my hands on one?

Any feedback is welcome since I have never had a chance to travel Japan so I am clueless about the whole thing.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to reading your post.



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1. You can find major retailers in Sapporo. Check Bic/Yodobashi/Yamada's website to confirm the location.
2. Typically, no, provided USA is one of the cheapest countries whilst Japan is one of the most expensive ones. This is regarding the models that are available in both countries. But for those JDM models unavailable in the US, then probably prices are a bit lower. If you know which model you are after, search in Kakaku to get a better idea.
3. Hard to say. But show your passport when purchasing. Some retailer offers duty-free. Also I suggest applying for some "point cards" from those major retailers before making any purchase. They can save you approx. 10% in the form of points, which can be spend on purchasing other things from the same retailer(straps for example).
4. I believe all of their watches, JDM or not, can be found in the US, one way or another. But here is the list of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. You can find major retailers in Sapporo. Check Bic/Yodobashi/Yamada's website to confirm the location.
2. Typically, no, provided USA is one of the cheapest countries whilst Japan is one of the most expensive ones. This is regarding the models that are available in both countries. But for those JDM models unavailable in the US, then probably prices are a bit lower. If you know which model you are after, search in Kakaku to get a better idea.
3. Hard to say. But show your passport when purchasing. Some retailer offers duty-free. Also I suggest applying for some "point cards" from those major retailers before making any purchase. They can save you approx. 10% in the form of points, which can be spend on purchasing other things from the same retailer(straps for example).
4. I believe all of their watches, JDM or not, can be found in the US, one way or another. But here is the list of them.
Thank you Jerouy for your feedback.


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At a Bic Camera or a Yodobashi Camera shop, you get the same prices as on their respective websites, which could be RRP minus 20-30%. Plus as a tourist, you get an additional 5% discount, and you don't pay the 8% sales tax. You must show your passport (for sure) and you must pay with a foreign credit/debit card (I am almost sure). For example, if you want to buy a Sumo SBDC033, which has an RRP of JPY 60000:
- on biccamera.com, you see the price is JPY 42000 without sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
- on yodobashi.com, you see the price is JPY 45300 with sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
So in both shops, at today's rate you pay the equivalent of USD 360 for a Sumo SBDC033. Is this not cheap? I have no idea if and at which price you can buy a Sumo SBDC033 in the US .
 

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Aside from the above suggestions, I would suggest you to try the newly opened "Don Quijote Sapporo".

Though there might not be as variety models as Yodobashi, but I found that the "net price" at Don Quijote is lowest among the big retailers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At a Bic Camera or a Yodobashi Camera shop, you get the same prices as on their respective websites, which could be RRP minus 20-30%. Plus as a tourist, you get an additional 5% discount, and you don't pay the 8% sales tax. You must show your passport (for sure) and you must pay with a foreign credit/debit card (I am almost sure). For example, if you want to buy a Sumo SBDC033, which has an RRP of JPY 60000:
- on biccamera.com, you see the price is JPY 42000 without sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
- on yodobashi.com, you see the price is JPY 45300 with sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
So in both shops, at today's rate you pay the equivalent of USD 360 for a Sumo SBDC033. Is this not cheap? I have no idea if and at which price you can buy a Sumo SBDC033 in the US .
Thank you Nipponbashi ... very helpful. Now, the hard part is deciding which models to tell my friend to go for. It is much harder since I will not be there. That said, I have a few in mind :)



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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aside from the above suggestions, I would suggest you to try the newly opened "Don Quijote Sapporo".

Though there might not be as variety models as Yodobashi, but I found that the "net price" at Don Quijote is lowest among the big retailers.
Thank you Nathan18 ... I will tell my friend to check out the Don Quijote in Sapporo.


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At a Bic Camera or a Yodobashi Camera shop, you get the same prices as on their respective websites, which could be RRP minus 20-30%. Plus as a tourist, you get an additional 5% discount, and you don't pay the 8% sales tax. You must show your passport (for sure) and you must pay with a foreign credit/debit card (I am almost sure). For example, if you want to buy a Sumo SBDC033, which has an RRP of JPY 60000:
- on biccamera.com, you see the price is JPY 42000 without sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
- on yodobashi.com, you see the price is JPY 45300 with sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
So in both shops, at today's rate you pay the equivalent of USD 360 for a Sumo SBDC033. Is this not cheap? I have no idea if and at which price you can buy a Sumo SBDC033 in the US .

SBDC033 costs ~$450 to buy from Japan here in the states. Won't you have to pay local duties when they return to your country? If so this is likely still a discount.
 

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When you arrive home from Japan, you will have a duty-free allowance below which you can go through the green line. That allowance will depend on which country "home" is. IT SEEMS (HUGE DISCLAIMER: I am definitely not an expert on these matters) that in the US the allowance is USD 800 for an American resident coming back from Japan. Definitely high enough for the Sumo SBDC033. But keep in mind that the allowance is for the sum of all the goods you purchased abroad, not for each individual item.

If you exceed the duty-free allowance, you should go through the red line. The custom officers will look at your goods (it will really help if you have all the receipts with you) and in some cases, they will let you go because there may be some leniency toward genuine tourists bringing goods from abroad. Needless to say, there may be less leniency if you go through the green line and are caught red-handed.

If the custom officers decide to make you pay, you will have to pay duty, which usually is just a small percentage, nothing to worry about. Additionally, in some countries, but possibly not in the US(?), you will have to pay the sales tax/VAT. Not the Japanese sales tax, which is 8%, but your home country sales tax/VAT, which in some countries is 20% or even 25%. And that will make a HUGE difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
At a Bic Camera or a Yodobashi Camera shop, you get the same prices as on their respective websites, which could be RRP minus 20-30%. Plus as a tourist, you get an additional 5% discount, and you don't pay the 8% sales tax. You must show your passport (for sure) and you must pay with a foreign credit/debit card (I am almost sure). For example, if you want to buy a Sumo SBDC033, which has an RRP of JPY 60000:
- on biccamera.com, you see the price is JPY 42000 without sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
- on yodobashi.com, you see the price is JPY 45300 with sales tax, so you would pay JPY 39900
So in both shops, at today's rate you pay the equivalent of USD 360 for a Sumo SBDC033. Is this not cheap? I have no idea if and at which price you can buy a Sumo SBDC033 in the US .
Nipponbasi,
Thanks for the detail information. I have been looking Bic and Yodobashi sites and trying to make my mind ... getting closer :) It is a lot harder since I am not the one traveling. So, I need to give my friend very specific details.

A few question:
1) is 5% from the listed price on the website the best that you can do at the store?
2) Yodobashi shows: "point:3,395 points (10% reduction) (equivalent to ¥ 3,395)" on a few of the watches I am looking at, what does it mean?

Thanks for your feedback!



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Be sure to price the watch at online sellers such as Seiya, Higuchi and Chino. Shipping is usually included.
Thank you for your help!


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I don't know anything about the points, just that it must be what jerouy was referring to in his post above. Big Japanese department stores like Yodobashi Camera or Bic Camera are really not places where I would try to haggle for a discount but maybe I am wrong. The 5% discount I am talking about is something they offer on all tax-free purchases.

By the way, as your post title is "please share your thoughts with me", I will share a couple of thoughts. Apologies if they sound obvious to you:
1. Avoid watches that come with a shoe box size box. Your friend may not be thrilled.
2. Avoid paying in the US to get the bracelet resized. They will do it for free at the time of purchase.
 

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Point system is a typical Japanese retailers' way to encourage customers coming back.
Basically you need to apply for a "point card" prior to purchase. After that, every time you spend some money, a certain percentage of points are stored in the card. You may use the points as cash for next purchase.
So if OP's friend spends 500000JPY in Bic or Yodobashi and stored 50000 points in his/her card, then in theory he/she could get a SUMO for free.

This system, however, may not be allowed joining with tax-free scheme at the same time for most retailers. As a foreigner, you'd better go with the tax-free scheme(I wasn't aware of the 5% off).

Also, it's worth checking Amazon.co.jp and considering online purchase(if you can sort out a delivery address). I have seem Amazon sometimes offer much better prices than those retailers, even after all tax-free discount stuff. And Amazon has point system as well!
 

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my wife found this awesome 8% + 7% discount coupon and i'm sharing it here:



just show the cashier the jpeg on your phone and you're golden. i'm unsure if cash payments are accepted...

yodobashi has an 8% off coupon as well, but no additional 7%. it's on the internet...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
my wife found this awesome 8% + 7% discount coupon and i'm sharing it here:



just show the cashier the jpeg on your phone and you're golden. i'm unsure if cash payments are accepted...

yodobashi has an 8% off coupon as well, but no additional 7%. it's on the internet...
This is awesome taxico ... THANK YOU very much!!!


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Point system is a typical Japanese retailers' way to encourage customers coming back.
Basically you need to apply for a "point card" prior to purchase. After that, every time you spend some money, a certain percentage of points are stored in the card. You may use the points as cash for next purchase.
So if OP's friend spends 500000JPY in Bic or Yodobashi and stored 50000 points in his/her card, then in theory he/she could get a SUMO for free.

This system, however, may not be allowed joining with tax-free scheme at the same time for most retailers. As a foreigner, you'd better go with the tax-free scheme(I wasn't aware of the 5% off).

Also, it's worth checking Amazon.co.jp and considering online purchase(if you can sort out a delivery address). I have seem Amazon sometimes offer much better prices than those retailers, even after all tax-free discount stuff. And Amazon has point system as well!
Thank Jerouy!


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thinking about going for one of these 4 ... i am going to leave it to my friend to surprise with the best deal :)




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Thanks so much for the details !!!!

Point system is a typical Japanese retailers' way to encourage customers coming back.
Basically you need to apply for a "point card" prior to purchase. After that, every time you spend some money, a certain percentage of points are stored in the card. You may use the points as cash for next purchase.
So if OP's friend spends 500000JPY in Bic or Yodobashi and stored 50000 points in his/her card, then in theory he/she could get a SUMO for free.

This system, however, may not be allowed joining with tax-free scheme at the same time for most retailers. As a foreigner, you'd better go with the tax-free scheme(I wasn't aware of the 5% off).

Also, it's worth checking Amazon.co.jp and considering online purchase(if you can sort out a delivery address). I have seem Amazon sometimes offer much better prices than those retailers, even after all tax-free discount stuff. And Amazon has point system as well!
 
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