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Have you ever shopped online from foreign countries? If yes, why?

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I may sound like a nerd but I had to get the great animated movie Akira from Australia because with the weird licensing rules across the globe Madman is the only distribution company that has both English language dubs as well as Japanese.

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This question is contradictory: since when there are countries in the online world?

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Stuff online in America is usually cheaper then in Japan but they do not ship overseas in many cases. It would help the trade imbalance. However, it does protect local merchants. Protectionism? Sell to the other and buy from oneself? The global economy is always a give and take but ...

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Yes, a lot! usually because it's cheaper, better quality, or because there's more choice online than in stores here. Amazon for books and DVDs, and a company called iHerb for a lot of other stuff. I agree with oneforall, that shipping costs are exorbitant, but the 2 companies above aren't bad.

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blu ray discs are over 3 times more expensive in Japan than Amazon US/UK

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I use Amazon UK or DE for most of my muscic and DVD`s. I but accessories for electrical stuff like a I Phone car charger recently bought from Hong Kong.

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more often than not i purchase things overseas for many reasons. prices are better. more options. bigger sizes. & when i travel overseas i also purchase many goods as the prices are so much better. even japanese goods ( not copies) overseas are cheaper than here. of course, the strong yen helps out as well which is a big reason for the better prices. if the yen were back in the ¥250 to $1 range, everyone would most likely change their shopping practices. let's hope it stays where it is ;-)

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Both cheaper prices AND because I could only buy want I wanted overseas. And frankly, I don't want Japanese only DVDs. The recording and movie industry here (JRIAA?) makes everything too expensive - even the Japan iTunes store is twice as much.

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Yeah, because a lot of the things I buy can only be purchased from abroad.

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Instead of "other" reasons JT should have included prices are better AND you can't find the products you're looking for. I'm like the others who have posted, but even when the Yen is at 120 to the dollar it's still cheaper to buy overseas.

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uhhhh yeah . on ebay bought some nice authentic things from japan . reasonable shipping too . from china different story , poor craftsmanship . bait and switch , obscene shipping charges some good things - about 50-50. from the soviet block; pretty good .

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Carbon bike from Taiwan; Typhoo/PG Tips/Tetley's tea and Marmite from the UK, books second hand from Amazon.com stores; mp3 player, sports wear, rechargable batteries from China, Steadycam from Canada, Programmers from the USA, Thailand, voice talents, video producers and proofreaders from the UK and North America, and a graphic designer from the Czech Republic. I buy from where-ever is cheapest and best.

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I do often buy online. Because of low prices, various options with money back guarantee if not satisfy. Preferred countries, USA, Australia and Enlgand.

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Even before the internet existed I used to buy things from overseas (I live in Japan), mostly from the USA. A great variety of things, like gas fired heaters for the home, ventilation systems, kitchen appliances, family games, cookware, clothing, tools. All because they were not available here or were less expensive. Now with the net I always buy my coffee and dietary supplements from overseas sites, again mainly the USA, items off Ebay and auction sites elsewhere. The best roasted coffee beans ship from Seattle, supplements are way cheaper from the USA, and Ebay is a great place to find just the item you can't find in Japan.

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Easy. Playasia.com: Its next to impossible to get N.A. region games in Japan. The few stores that sell them are so expensive it isn't funny.

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yep I have, because what I wanted wasn't available in Japan.

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oops that was choice 2 :p

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When so many foreigners are buying from overseas (majority from the above posts) no wonder Japan's GDP remains in negative zone :)

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the first two - normally I buy on the internet from overseas because I can't get the item in Japan but also sometimes because it is cheaper.

I also do all my birthday and Christmas present shopping for friends and relatives in the UK on UK sites to cut down on the shipping...

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I always buy online from USA simply because it's cheap, a much larger range of products and unlike Japan, they have customer service.

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If I buy my clothes at any store in Harajuku, it'll be twice the money I'll spend buying overseas. Even after paying for the shipping, is still cheaper buying overseas (hottopic.com USA).

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I buy everything from foreign countries except for my underwear. When I return to Japan from overseas trips I bring what I need (personal items). To aviod embarrassment I don't buy underwear abroad. I have a 'mini-library' at home and 90% of the books are from amazon.com/uk and ebay. I hope at least this comment would be published. LOL

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@some14some: sorry when I cant read Japanese books, or understand Japanese books, or movies. Then of course I am going to buy from other countries.

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I meant games. not books twice.

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everything is cheaper abroad, but expensive shipping.itunes is cheaper. I don't like buying overprices jeans, sneakers, a baseball hat, jackets and other items. Dvd's are so cheaper in America. It's way to expensive.'s Last year i bought a base cap in Tokyo that costs 7000 yen. A baseball cap that costs 7000 yen vs. $10.00 dollars in america.

Only thing cheap here are tissues (toilet & nose), Moet Champagne, and assorted alchol.

Plus the internet service is top notch in america.

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Last year i bought a base cap in Tokyo that costs 7000 yen. A baseball cap that costs 7000 yen vs. $10.00 dollars in america.

Geez...did you really need it that much? A baseball cap?

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It's ridiculous that questions one and two cannot be combined.

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"Yes, because I could only buy the item I wanted from overseas"

... yes but of course then a hefty import tax is added... to protect the local companies.... that ironically don't make the specification of goods that you want.

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@some14some: sorry when I cant read Japanese books, or understand Japanese books, or movies. Then of course I am going to buy from other countries.

Time to study, isn't it! :)

I on occasion buy from overseas, but mostly because I sometimes can't find what I want here. It's pretty rare, though. I do tend to buy movies and such when I am overseas as almost anywhere else they are much cheaper. Many things are quite reasonable here - just need to know where to shop.

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So far only books.

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pawatan: Oh, you can almost always find what you want here, somewhere, the thing is, you can order (for whatever reason you might want one) a 2 litre jar of Polish dill pickles, for example, for the same price you can by a 200 gram one here. I cite food as an example only because it's one in which there are MAJOR differences. A one kg block of NZ cheddar for 1000 yen including delivery in some cases, or 300 yen at your local super for 8 slices of 60% edible oil product 'sliced cheese'. Man... there's no comparing, even when buying domestic produce for local dishes.

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One more thing... there are more and more instances of things not being permitted for importation thanks to agreements by countries. You used to be able to order DVDs and CDs from amazon.ca, for example, but they won't even let you order software for shipment to Japan anymore, citing local laws (ie. they want you to wait two years and pay heaps more).

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Large, heated composting toilet (from Canada, to France), lots of stuff from USA, clothes etc, flowers in Japan, for Japan, books/toys from uk/usa/ hi-tech goods from cant remember, not France, Towable Dog Carrier, from Germany, Sim cards from anywhere they are cheap. Always price first, is what counts, second - is the sheer joy of Global Shopping - from the total comfort and stress-free zone of my fake futon, in fffffrance. only one small disappointment so far - a really naf book - I thought i was ordering something else. Plan to do MORE. Almost everything from everywhere. Boo to SHOPPING ON LEGS.

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Anything to do with surfing. What sort of fool would pay over a thousand dollars for a wetsuit or $2-3,000 for a custom surfboard? A Japanese fool, of course! There are so many things available online that either cannot be bought in Japan or can be bought OS for around a third of the price. Japan is a rip-off country!

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yahoo auctions japan has some cheaper gear. impatient suckers buy from retail stores :)

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With the dollar @ 90 yen, why wouldn't buy overseas? Here come the flow of import stores to Japan like 12 years ago.

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Anything to do with surfing. What sort of fool would pay over a thousand dollars for a wetsuit or $2-3,000 for a custom surfboard? A Japanese fool, of course! There are so many things available online that either cannot be bought in Japan or can be bought OS for around a third of the price. Japan is a rip-off country!

Oh, there's tons of bargains out there. Only a fool would buy without doing their homework on prices! There's full retail price and there's the price you can actually find with searching...

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When I watch a film or read a book I do it for the pleasure, not for education so there is always going to be a need to buy from somewhere like Amazon, but the postage is the killer, even when you do manage to find what your looking for in the used books section. Another site that I have been using for the last two plus years is CDWOW, which is growing all the time, CDs, DVDs and now they have started books too. The important thing with CDWOW is that there is NO postage to anywhere in the world. The price on the product is what you pay, nothing else. Sadly books are my main addiction so for the most part they are still have to be bought from Amazon.

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Yes, all the time. I always start my internet shopping at Amazon.com. If I can't get an item shipped to here from them I then do a Web search. I have always found at least one company willing to ship internationally.

Why? Having things delivered to my door at Casa Romeo beats going out, looking for a product I want/need then dragging it back to my place.

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Oh, you can almost always find what you want here, somewhere

Emphasis on the ALMOST. I have never been able to find a number of American foods, no matter how many years that I have been looking for them in Tokyo. Excluding the military bases, but that doesnt count technically.

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Depends on the exchange rate, what currency I can buy it in, how long shipping takes / costs, etc.

You really are rubbish at decent conversation angles. I imagine the Shibuya office is a laugh a minute, eh guys.

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