Ordering Doujin CD’s (and other things)
Japan is wonderful country full of gifted individuals. With all that talented musicians that make their identities known there, sometimes various circumstances that I will hold my tongue back from speaking of for now can make it difficult for anyone outside of Japan to acquire their material goods. Doujinshi and Doujin related items are especially prone to this dilemma as they are not readily produced on the commercial level to big name labels.
What I’d like to cover in this post is explain how to order your favorite albums through a forwarding service. In this case, we will use Noppin. Before I do, however, I’d like to point out that mimmikutan has already written up an excellent guide for another service called i-tm4u.
Before you start, useful links
STEP 1: FINDING WHAT YOU WANT TO ORDER
Obviously the first thing that you want to do is figure out what you want to order. Each of the Doujin sites listed above have a search feature to help aid you in finding the page of the item you want. However, sometimes not having the proper search filter selected can prevent those who cannot read Japanese from successfully finding their items even though their search criteria is correct.
The search tags you want to keep in mind for albums are “同人” and “音楽” which translate into Doujin and Music.
While you can sometimes get away with finding your items while a different category is selected (like depicted in this screenshot); for maximum findage, try to keep the doujin and music tags active. From there, it’s simply typing in your search criteria into the search bar, such as “IRON ATTACK!”. Keep in mind that just because one variation of your search produces no results, another variation might yield you success. An example would be searching “モヒカンサンドバッグ” instead of “Mohican Sandbag” and vice versa. From my experience, I get the best success from searching for the actual album names.
STEP 2: USING NOPPIN TO ORDER YOUR ITEMS
Once you have the URL to the item or items you’d like to order, it’s time to set up a Noppin account (assuming you don’t have one). I’m not going to go over how to register an account with a website. Noppin is in all English, so it should be easy enough.
Once you have your account created and set up with your payment options (can be done later at checkout), click Shopping Service and then Contact Board
Once on the contact board, just fill out the fields with the information of the album(s) you wish to order.
You don’t have to sound like a top notch professional to get what you want, just provide the basic info. Mainly the URL and quantity.
Click “Preview Post” and if it looks good, proceed to post it.
Congratulations, You just “ordered” your item. Usually within 24 hours, A Noppin employee will reply with a quote for how much yen you need to pay for them to order the item. Noppin charges commission on top of the price of the CD so that they can (obviously) make money. At first it may seem kind of steep, especially if you are only ordering 1 item. I’d recommend waiting until you have 4-6 cds you want to order at the same time, that way the commission isn’t 50% of the price.
I don’t currently have a quote open, so I can’t show you a pictorial of the next step of accepting the quote and paying for it, but the whole process on Noppin is very fluid, you shouldn’t have any trouble. If for some reason you lose a link to it, click “Shopping quote list” on the left side of the screen. Once you pay, allow up to 24 hours and Noppin will order the item(s) for you (usually within a couple hours assuming it is within regular operating hours in Japan).
Now we wait 3-5 business days for our item(s) to arrive there. Tick-tock….ding!
Once your item has arrived at Noppin’s facility, you have some options. You can either request it be packed for shipment under “Storage Space” from the left menu, or continue ordering more items to be placed in the same shipment. Assuming you want it to be shipped, head over to Storage Space and request it be packed for shipment. Allow another 24-36 hours for them prepare your package.
When it’s ready to be shipped, your order will be moved to “Shipping Status”
Click the checkbox of your shipment and click “Shipping/Handling Charge”
After you pay this second time, allow yet another 24-36 hours for them to ship your package to you.
Woohoo good job! You’ve completed the process on ordering your doujin items via Noppin! Now just wait dat 4-6 business days for you to act like a Japanese schoolgirl when it arrives.
Hope I have been of some assistance, happy listening!
Thanks for the tutorial! Just wondering, about how much does one CD cost? (The price of the CD itself + commission.) And are there other methods to buy without resorting to commission?
September 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm
It depends on the price of the CD and currency exchange rate etc, but a ballbark would be around 3000 yen. If you use a forwarding service, there will always be commission.
Unless you have a contact to pick up albums for you in person, I don’t really see a way around it. Even group import services like Doujincore charge a commission. Some import services have cheaper commission rates than others, just do some window shopping. You can get a quote without buying it.
September 15, 2011 at 1:15 am
Oh yes, thank you so much! I’ve been curious as to how I can buy the albums myself, I really want to support the artists I listen to via YT channels. Thank you so much again.
September 21, 2011 at 2:08 am
This is very useful! Noppin also has a few items I want to buy. But some of the item descriptions say nothing about shipping to other countries. Does this mean I can’t buy them, or does Noppin itself handle that?
July 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm