A bit of a different post for me today, but my birthday has just been, and you know I spent some money on merch. Not birthday money, what I got cost too much for that, but it’s something that I do often spend as much money on as I do books. I’ve been thinking about these sites I’ve learned about over the years and thought I’d recommend a few.
If you’re heavily involved in anime or game fandoms, you may already know all these resources. They’re all pretty well known, even if I only figured out one recently. Sometimes I can be a little slow, but that’s okay. This post is for the people who maybe only got into anime or Japanese games recently or the people who just don’t know where to look.
I won’t be including the obvious places like Depop, eBay or Amazon. I’m also not going to list particular UK stores. The shops on this list will be based in Japan, so you can order from them wherever you are in the world. I’ve bought from all but one, but the other is one that I’ve known a friend use before.
If you’re after CDs – including the Japanese versions of K-Pop albums, if that’s your thing – then you might be interested in this site. But that’s not the only thing you can buy on there. I often buy magazines from here. They get the new manga magazines each month – possibly the weekly ones as well, but I’ve not looked – as well as fashion magazines and other things. I’ve also bought a standee, and you can get plenty of other merch too.
For stationary lovers, you can grab some new stuff here. They do have non-anime options, as well as general Japanese lifestyle products. If you want products and they are not in stock, they offer a proxy shipping service.
If you’re one of those people who like collecting points to get money off future products, CDJapan does offer that! It is off the price in yen, and it only comes off the product before shipping, so it might not always make a difference. Points can feel like you’re saving up for future purchases, and it could help you out one day if you really need or want something to be cheaper.
Shipping can be a little expensive. But since it’s coming from Japan, that’s not a surprise. You can choose who you want to ship it to you, including the cheapest non-tracked option.
I buy most of my anime and game merch here. It’s not all labelled new, but even the used stuff tends to be stuff that’s been bought then sold straight on. It might not all be, but that’s been my experience so far. There are so many options on here. That includes merch for older anime and games that you can’t buy new stuff for anymore.
If they think they’re going to get new stuff in, they sometimes allow you to preorder merch. I’ve done that with a hoodie before, and I should have some little purses coming in December.
Goods Republic is also only one of several stores. If you’re interested in doujinshi or fan-merch, they also have Otaku Republic. There’s another site I’m not going to mention due to the name of it, but if you’re looking for merch of ‘sexy’ anime girls. That’ll be the one you’ll go to. Otaku Republic tends to feature more BL doujinshi. They do rate the explicit ones. So if you’re trying to avoid them, it’s pretty easy.
They also have a trading card website, and they recently added MangaRepublic, where you can buy Japanese manga and magazines. It even looks like they offer fan novels too. It’s more expensive than CDJapan, and I’ve not tried to buy books from this one before. But I’ve only had good experiences with the shops I have bought from, and they are all run by the same company.
The prices on Goods Republic can be high. Not always. I’ve grabbed things from here cheaper before. But they’re one of those sites that advertise free shipping. We all know what that means. They just add the shipping price to the product price, and since it’s free worldwide shipping…yeah.
I feel like this is one that most people know, but I only found out about recently. Buyee is a Japanese proxy service. You can buy stuff from the Japanese Mercari as well as Yahoo Auctions and even Amazon Japan. I’ve bought from there twice. Both items were from Mercari, and I plan on buying again soon.
You may have heard of Mercari before if you’re American. It’s a Japanese online marketplace that also opened up in the US. It’s like Depop, but on Buyee, you’re buying from Japanese sellers. My only issue is that you’ll be paying a shipping fee when you buy the product, but that shipping fee is from the seller to the warehouse. You then need to choose how much you’re willing to pay and who you want to ship the product to you. So you wind up paying twice. Sometimes double what you thought you’d be paying.
The wonderful thing about the auctions and Mercari is that you can find products so much cheaper than you will on the other sites. They are secondhand, but that doesn’t always mean it’ll be in bad condition. You can search for whatever you like, including non-anime stuff. Plus, if you’re looking on Amazon, you might be able to get your hands on Japanese versions of your favourite books if you’re collecting a series!
Keep in mind that this is a proxy service, and you’re not always certain to get the products you want. If they sell out, or someone on the actual Mercari grabs it first, and the site didn’t update…you won’t usually get your money back.
This is the site that I’ve not bought from myself, but a friend has. They offer anime merch, including some exclusive sales, and they do preorders on products. If you’re into collecting anime figures, this is definitely the site you’ll want to be buying from. They don’t only sell figures, and you won’t often find things like apparel. It’s considered a hobby shop, so things like games, trading cards and figure kits.
They also offer some western figures. So if you only want to grab them in one place, you have that option.
I don’t really have any opinions on AmiAmi and don’t know what the buying experience is like personally. But I would recommend checking it out and having a browse.