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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought my first Citizen on Yahoo! Japan Auction via Buyee. It's a rather strange market...

Let's discuss our experiences here. I'll chip in another time, but don't let that stop you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So my first observation: it seems like the local bidders don't like the Buyout option, even when the price is reasonable. Of course Buyout defeats the purpose of an auction, but I just bought a Citizen (to be revealed when I actually receive it) that was reasonably priced, and this model went for considerably more the last time people were allowed to bid on one starting at 1000 yen.

And certain terms in the auction title of course determine the findability and the views/bids. I bought another watch yesterday (for the purpose of combined shipping) for 4,100 yen, and today an identical watch - also in decent condition, but with less bracelet links, so less value - that had the movement number in the title, went for 8100 yen! Maybe I just got lucky?

Anyway, the 'famous' Citizens are not that cheap at all, as people in other forums have noticed when discussing Seiko etc, but you can score rare and amazing watches if you are willing to pay. So it is both a blessing and a curse as people have often said on WUS.
 

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One thing that I have noticed is that people do not tend to wait until the last minute to bid. If there’s no bids coming up to the end, there’s likely nobody else lurking. I suspect part of the reason is those auctions automatically extend if there’s bidding in the last few minutes, so sniping isn’t as likely to net you a surprise win.

I’ve got a few bargains there, and there’s plenty that sell for absolutely average prices. As with all auctions, it pays to be persistent.
 

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I have been really happy with zenmarket as my proxy. I wonder how it compares to buyee.

1) 300yen fee if you win an auction.
2) Free storage for 120 days (45 days pre-covid) 50yen fee (each item)/day thereafter.
3) Must deposit funds into zenmarket account in order to bid.
4) 20,000yen credit.

Typical shipping charges using EMS:
1 watch = $2000 yen
10 watches = $3000 yen

Pre-covid shipping was incredibly fast. Typically 5 days or less from when I hit the "pack items" button to arriving on my doorstep. Granted, I'm sure being near SFO international airport helps. Also, no extra duty or import fees.

Post -covid is incredibly slow. EMS to the US has been cancelled since April. Still waiting on my first shippment via Ground post. Expect it's going to take up to 3 months.
 

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One thing that I have noticed is that people do not tend to wait until the last minute to bid. If there’s no bids coming up to the end, there’s likely nobody else lurking. I suspect part of the reason is those auctions automatically extend if there’s bidding in the last few minutes, so sniping isn’t as likely to net you a surprise win.

I’ve got a few bargains there, and there’s plenty that sell for absolutely average prices. As with all auctions, it pays to be persistent.
Sniping isn't as helpful with the automatic extension but I still think it's the way to go.

II primarily buy Citizen watches and Yokogawa test equipment. The selection is incredible compared to the US. Many sellers are asking average prices but I've found some great deals. The best were the result of poor photos or descriptions or the lack of understanding how the watch works (eg, Chronomaster, E510, etc.) so they list it as junk. I've only had a few that actually had a problem. In general, I find the watches in better condition than described.
 

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Buyee has been great for me. Very rarely do I end up in a bidding war at the last moment. The snipe feature is honestly how I’ve made 90% of my purchases on there. The pros are that I don’t have to preload funds and due to Covid, they have unlimited storage time for your items at their warehouse. I’ve never had any shipping issues with EMS and they’re super fast. The cons are that EMS no longer ships to the states for the time being so I do shell out for DHL. They’re as fast as EMS, usually a day or two faster on average in my experience.
 

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Buyee has been great for me. Very rarely do I end up in a bidding war at the last moment. The snipe feature is honestly how I’ve made 90% of my purchases on there. The pros are that I don’t have to preload funds and due to Covid, they have unlimited storage time for your items at their warehouse. I’ve never had any shipping issues with EMS and they’re super fast. The cons are that EMS no longer ships to the states for the time being so I do shell out for DHL. They’re as fast as EMS, usually a day or two faster on average in my experience.
How does DHL compare to EMS regarding cost? Also, what is the service charge with Buyee?
 

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Buyee charges about the same, but everything is PayPal, so they just bill you when you win an auction or request shipping. Super easy.

DHL costs maybe $10more than EMS did, and takes about the same amount of time. Which is to say, usually 4 to 5 days depending, to Seattle.
 

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Do you ever have to pay import duty fees with DHL?
I would like to know this as well. Normally you don't pay import fees unless the watch is over 800, right?

Also, what is the point of storage? Is transfer to shipping arranged or that something the buyer as to do on their end?
 

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I have never payed import duties, But I’ve also never bought a watch for more than $500.

Storage is useful if you’re buying more than one item and want to combine shipping, which becomes much more cost-effective.

Buyee now offers “direct shipping” on some items, though I have not tried that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have been really happy with zenmarket as my proxy. I wonder how it compares to buyee.

1) 300yen fee if you win an auction.
2) Free storage for 120 days (45 days pre-covid) 50yen fee (each item)/day thereafter.
3) Must deposit funds into zenmarket account in order to bid.
4) 20,000yen credit.

Typical shipping charges using EMS:
1 watch = $2000 yen
10 watches = $3000 yen

Pre-covid shipping was incredibly fast. Typically 5 days or less from when I hit the "pack items" button to arriving on my doorstep. Granted, I'm sure being near SFO international airport helps. Also, no extra duty or import fees.

Post -covid is incredibly slow. EMS to the US has been cancelled since April. Still waiting on my first shippment via Ground post. Expect it's going to take up to 3 months.
Buyee is as follows:
1) Payment fee 200 yen, Buyee service fee 300 yen (so always 500 yen)
+ optional domestic delivery plan as follows: Lite plan (0 yen), Inspection only (300 yen), Insured delivery only (500 yen), Inspection + insured delivery (500 yen)
Then you pay the domestic shipping fee from seller to Buyee warehouse, for me it was 444 yen en 907 yen this time.
2) Free storage for 30 days, then 100 yen per day up to 10 kg, 200 upto 20 kg, 300 upto 30 kg.
3) Creditcard or Paypal, and the latter works pretty good. I don't have a credit card (not many Dutch people do) and I can use Paypal by linking my bank account or wiring money to my Paypal balance.
4) No credit as far as I know, but you pay after the winning bid, and for some reason Paypal refused the second payment, then Buyee doesn't allow you to place new bids until the payment is done, but I still won the auction and I fixed the Paypal issue so I could make the payment and I could immediately place bids again.

Package consolidation is 500 yen for 2 packages and 1000 yen for 3 or more packages and then 1000 yen for a consecutive consolidation if you end up buying more before it is shipped.

International shipping to the Netherlands is 2,200 yen for EMS up to 30 kg (2 days), for airmail up to 2 kg it's only 1,370 yen (6 days). DHL for me is 4,149 yen.

So now I have two watches in their warehouse, together less than 1 kg. I don't plan on buying any more watches, I shouldn't anyway, so I'm gonna decide today how to ship them...
 

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@TheStuntDummy and @jvspin , @Ziptie is right. I've never paid import duties, but the most I've paid is $600. And storage is great for combining shipments. They do a great job of packing, even if you don't pay for the extra protective packaging. It's been 4 or 5 days to here on the East coast with DHL.
 

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Buyee is as follows:
1) Payment fee 200 yen, Buyee service fee 300 yen (so always 500 yen)
+ optional domestic delivery plan as follows: Lite plan (0 yen), Inspection only (300 yen), Insured delivery only (500 yen), Inspection + insured delivery (500 yen)
Then you pay the domestic shipping fee from seller to Buyee warehouse, for me it was 444 yen en 907 yen this time.
2) Free storage for 30 days, then 100 yen per day up to 10 kg, 200 upto 20 kg, 300 upto 30 kg.
3) Creditcard or Paypal, and the latter works pretty good. I don't have a credit card (not many Dutch people do) and I can use Paypal by linking my bank account or wiring money to my Paypal balance.
4) No credit as far as I know, but you pay after the winning bid, and for some reason Paypal refused the second payment, then Buyee doesn't allow you to place new bids until the payment is done, but I still won the auction and I fixed the Paypal issue so I could make the payment and I could immediately place bids again.

Package consolidation is 500 yen for 2 packages and 1000 yen for 3 or more packages and then 1000 yen for a consecutive consolidation if you end up buying more before it is shipped.

International shipping to the Netherlands is 2,200 yen for EMS up to 30 kg (2 days), for airmail up to 2 kg it's only 1,370 yen (6 days). DHL for me is 4,149 yen.

So now I have two watches in their warehouse, together less than 1 kg. I don't plan on buying any more watches, I shouldn't anyway, so I'm gonna decide today how to ship them...
The only additional charges with zenmarket (other than shipping and the 300 yen commission) is the credit card fee of 3.5% to fund your account. To make sure I get the best rates, I use a credit card that doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees and keep all transactions in yen. You can also use PAYPAL to fund your account but I think their exchange rate is higher than the the going rate.

There are no package consolidation fees. There is a 1000 yen fee to add more items after a shipment has been packaged. Packaging is well done and all items are indivdually bubble wrapped and labelled with the zenmarket auction ID.

So, the total cost of my watch with zenmarket is the following:
(yen watch + yen 300 + yen local shipping + yen shipping to US) x 3.5% x exchange rate = Total cost in $
Note, some business sellers charge a 10% VAT (will be listed on the auction)

I think the total cost with zenmarket is less than Buyee due to Paypal exchange rates and the additional fees but I'm not sure.

The last time I tried to use DHL they said they couldn't do it to the US because of the import forms required. May have been because of the total cost of items.

I have made purchases greater than $800, both individual and total shipment, and never been charged import fees using EMS Japan which goes into the US Postal Service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Judging by your info, Buyee definitely seems more expensive than zenmarket, but I never bothered to look for alternatives to Buyee and it was the only one I'd heard of. But I don't plan on making this a regular thing, though I might make an exception if a watch is really cheap. I'd like to get my hands on the first Citizen Attesa that was discussed in the Titanium thread recently, but it could be many months before one comes up for sale, and even if it does the question is if I will notice. I scored my kind of grail watch though (and a bonus watch), so hopefully that will scratch my JDM itch for a while. The two packages are being consolidated now, hopefully I can have it shipped tomorrow, and with any luck it will be with me end of next week. It is kind of surreal that I will have it in my hands/on my wrist!

There is also this proxy: FROM JAPAN
And this one: Noppin, Japan Shopping Service - Our Fees for Auction Service
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
By the way, Buyee uses their own exchange rate (which is probably good for them) and you pay them through Paypal in your own currency, in my case EUR, so Paypal can't profit from the exchange rate, and there is also no Paypal fee because it is an internet shopping purchase. So as far as I'm aware I'm not paying Paypal any fees at all, not directly anyway, because I think the 200 yen Payment Fee is probably because of the fee that Paypal charges Buyee.
 

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I’m pretty clear that ordering 15 year discontinued JDM watches is an extravagance, so as long as the charges are moderate overall, I’m not looking to further optimize.

I do tend to take them into account when I’m flipping a watch though, maybe adding $25 above what I paid to get a sense of what I should charge.
 

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I’m pretty clear that ordering 15 year discontinued JDM watches is an extravagance, so as long as the charges are moderate overall, I’m not looking to further optimize.

I do tend to take them into account when I’m flipping a watch though, maybe adding $25 above what I paid to get a sense of what I should charge.
The one thing I don't like about zenmarket is you can only bid up to the amount in your account + 20,000yen. So if I'm interested in a more expensive item I must deposit the funds first. If I don't win, the money is left in my account to be frittered away bit by bit.

If the Buyee fees aren't much more I might switch. Especially since I'm planning to slow down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well my first package will be shipped today. Total shipping costs came to:
Package 1 domestic shipping: 444 yen
Package 2: domestic shipping: 907 yen
Package consolidation: 500 yen
International shipping EMS: 3,200 yen all of a sudden
Total: 5,051 yen = 42,09 EUR = 120 yen/EUR while the theoretical mid-market exchange rate is 125 yen/EUR, so 120 yen/EUR seems fine.

42 EUR shipping costs on top of what I spent is acceptable, but if I get hit with our Dutch 21% VAT over the purchase PLUS international shipping costs (which is insane), then that will be a disappointment,
There is zero chance I would find my grail watch in The Netherlands, especially for this price, even including VAT, but it would feel like less of a 'victory', and it would probably be my last Yahoo Auction purchase. So let's hope for the Japanese economy that I don't have to pay VAT!

By the way, import duties for watches are supposedly only 0,80 EUR per watch, but on top of the 21% VAT the Dutch post service will charge you 13 EUR or 17,50 EUR (EMS) for dealing with customs, which is just theft. So realistically I'm looking at about 30% extra cost at the border, which is certainly something to factor in when bidding.
 
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