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The BEST(!) Guide to Buying Anime Goods

Posted by Niki K. F. on July 15, 2009

There are many guides to buying anime goods online.  But this one is the BEST.  Why?  ‘Cause I have TONS of anime stuff AND I’m on a major budget!  So join me for a fun-filled journey through the online world of anime goods.

Here you goSTEP 1:  Find where you want to shop

Any site that accepts PayPal should be secure, but always be careful.  Also, do your research.  A site may look trustworthy but that doesn’t mean it is.  My picks for anime goods websites would be:

  • GKWorld
  • eBay:  The thing with eBay is, you need to study up on the seller before you bid or buy.  Why does this person have neutral or negative refs?  Always be careful with your money.  A good rule to abide by is only bid/buy from sellers with 99.5%+ refs.

There aren’t any places I wouldn’t recommend, but always watch out for prices!  I used to use JPQueen, but since it’s located in Japan the shipping would always be $10+, and I just couldn’t afford it.

STEP 2:  Find out what you want to buy

You might not have an exact idea about what you want to buy (you might, you might not), so go general!  You might find something you never thought about before!  Search for series’, or if you want a certain kind of item, you can search the item with the word “anime” (ex., “anime bag,” “anime shitajiki”).  Also, if the item goes by multiple names, search both (ex., “anime file folder” as oppossed to “anime clear file”) since some items won’t include both titles.

What to buy?

STEP 3:  Find the right price

As is the case on eBay, different people will have the same item up for auction.  They will usually be for different prices.  If you can get the same thing for less, go for it!  Also, be aware of the shipping price.  S&H can great affect the overall price of the item.

If you’re not using eBay, you can always check multiple sites to compare prices.  Most sites don’t show their shipping prices up front, so you can simply put the item in your basket and see the shipping before placing your order.

Oh, no!  This item is too expensive for me to buy!!

Even after looking around, the item you want is still too expensive.  There are multiple ways you can address this situation:

  • Start saving!  If you really, REALLY want the item, putting aside the rest of your spending will help you greatly.
  • Is it the image on the item what you like?  If so, do a little more looking!  Most of the time, there will be different kinds of items with the same image (ex., posters and wall scrolls, trading cards and post cards).  Different items are generally more expensive than others, so if you don’t mind what the item is but want an item with the same picture, you can generally find another item with it.
  • It’s not the image you like but the item?  Make sure you really like what you see.  If you just want a bag with any nice picture from a certain series, go find another one that’s cheaper!  Certain items, like shitajiki and trading and post cards, might be made in limited numbers, so some images will be more expensive than others.
  • Don’t buy it.  Look for something else.  This is usually the hardest option to come to terms with, but sometimes, what must be done must be done, even if it’s painful.
  • Don’t buy it NOW.  Save it for later.  It may take months, years, or lives, but there may come a time when you will be able to afford what you’re looking for.  The above option is an extreme, and is good for sizing down wants lists, but if you like the item enough, you can most certainly keep it in mind but not try to save up for it at the moment.

STEP 4:  Buy it!

Simple, right?  PayPal is the best way to go, so if the option is available (which it really should be) USE IT.

STEP 5:  Rinse and repeat

Go find more stuff to buy.  Just be sure to buy smartly and don’t put yourself in debt.

Tiny afterthoughts:

  • If you personally don’t think it’s worth it to spend a certain amount of money on something, DON’T BUY IT.  You WILL regret it later when you receive your item in the mail.
  • Splurging is okay, but ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE (as in, once a year).  Honestly, I never splurge.  Do it once, and it becomes hard to control yourself.
  • Have fun!  Shopping shouldn’t be stressful.
Everyone will be jealous of your anime stuff and will try to buy them off of you.

Everyone will be jealous of your anime stuff and will try to buy them off of you.

I hope you found this guide helpful in your everlasting search to get as much anime stuff as possible!  You can also apply these tips to in-store buying, sans the S&H (and maybe the security–but always check and keep your receipts!  And count your change in front of the cashier!  Forget the next person in line xD)

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