Quantcast

Ordering directly from Japan in current climate

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
635
Location
Asia
I think it's just the US that's messed up. I got a package from Japan to Singapore on EMS in less than 2 weeks. I got a package from Australia to Singapore on EMS in 4 days.
 

False_Cast

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
79
Reaction score
70
Location
Michigan
Ordered a Heiji before just before corona made it to the US. It’s been ready but with EMS not shipping to the US, they’ve given me the option of shipping by sea (3 months per Heiji) or DHL that has been quoted in the 18,000 JYP range. Neither of those options sound good. Anyone have any ideas or insight as to when EMS will start shipping to the US?
 
  • Like
Reactions: J.C

Hz_zzzzzz

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
530
Reaction score
538
Location
CT
Gaku just offered to do sea shipping for my TF which I accepted. I’d rather wait for 1-3 months than pay the DHL cost.

Edit: the sea shipping even has a tracking number!
 
Last edited:

J.C

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
346
Reaction score
246
Location
Australia
Ordered a Heiji before just before corona made it to the US. It’s been ready but with EMS not shipping to the US, they’ve given me the option of shipping by sea (3 months per Heiji) or DHL that has been quoted in the 18,000 JYP range. Neither of those options sound good. Anyone have any ideas or insight as to when EMS will start shipping to the US?
Happens to me too..
Knife was ready to be ship from august, still waiting for the news from japanpost.
 

J.C

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
346
Reaction score
246
Location
Australia
Just an update, my heiji is finally shipped via fedEx! With an additional cost of $55 on top of what i have already paid before.
It will take about 10-14 days but still better than the sea route i think.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
530
Reaction score
538
Location
CT
I have a knife shipped by Fedex from Japan. It was picked up at 6:07 PM on 10/15 in Japan and it is now out for delivery on 10/16. Fantastic.

Edit: it was delivered at 11:02 AM on 10/16.
 
Last edited:

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
How do you guys go about currency exchange? It's no secret that creditcard companies make a lot of money on currency exchange. As an example, on an item worth 800 euro it can make a 80 euro difference if you're able to pay in the original currency. That's why I use a Revolut card. Is there any way to sidetrack currency exchange through paypal?
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
Not around the CC company itself, but around PP, yes. Select that you want to pay in the receivers currency and have your CC issuer do the conversion.
PP conversion rate is thievery.
 

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
Not around the CC company itself, but around PP, yes. Select that you want to pay in the receivers currency and have your CC issuer do the conversion.
PP conversion rate is thievery.
Ah great, if that's possible it means I can use my Revolut to make a payment in yen! :) And what is the best way in paypal to transfer money to japan? Which service should I select?
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
I don't know how that works with Revolut (never used it), but when using a CC it's simply just selecting the 'foreign' currency when paying.
Then you'll get rid of the 3.5/4% PP markup on top of the real conversion rate.
I think the fees Mastercard or Visa charge are OK, usually around 1%, so that means +-8 euro for your 800 euro payment.

 

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
I don't know how that works with Revolut (never used it), but when using a CC it's simply just selecting the 'foreign' currency when paying.
Then you'll get rid of the 3.5/4% PP markup on top of the real conversion rate.
I think the fees Mastercard or Visa charge are OK, usually around 1%, so that means +-8 euro for your 800 euro payment.

Great thanks! I can recommend the Revolut card. It's free of charge. Note that the transaction cost at cc companies isn't the issue (though even that is ridiculous), but rather the currency conversion rate cc companies use. We don't see that - but it's there.
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
I know that as well, and have looked into that before, but I don't think it's that big of a problem. It's usually < 1% as well, but also depends on the time of day and market changes etc. These rates are (as far as I know) also available through your bank or the CC issuer's website (depending on who issued the card) :)
Underneath is an example I just calculated on the Visa website, taking the transaction fee out of the equation.
But, I will look into Revolut as well, I am always open to having alternatives, and it might be interesting for obscure-ish websites which have you enter the CC details directly instead of handling things through PP for example! :)

Anyway, since I don't want to be responsible for derailing the entire thread, I actually have something to contribute.
I ordered a knife from JP two weeks ago on a Thursday, it was shipped Friday morning, and delivered in the EU on Monday by DHL o_O

Screenshot 2020-10-20 at 14.43.59.png
 

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
The beauty of Revolut is that you convert the currency within the Revolut app, using market rates. So I transfer say 100 euro from my normal credit card to my Revolut, and then within the Revolut app I can exchange this for GBP/USD/JPY and so on. You'll always know beforehand which conversion rate you get, and can even set alerts if the yen for example drops.

Sometimes the webshop itself charges ridiculous conversation rates. Last week I ordered a jacket from a UK shop, where they quoted 885 euro or 745 British pounds. I used my Revolut and immediately saved 65 euro on that single transaction.
 

Corradobrit1

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
3,775
Reaction score
2,384
I don't know how that works with Revolut (never used it), but when using a CC it's simply just selecting the 'foreign' currency when paying.
Then you'll get rid of the 3.5/4% PP markup on top of the real conversion rate.
I think the fees Mastercard or Visa charge are OK, usually around 1%, so that means +-8 euro for your 800 euro payment.

Don't forget most CC charge a foreign transaction fee on top of their currency exchange rate and that can range from 0-3%. Check with your card. I use Chase Sapphire and its fee is zero, but the annual fee is quite high at $99, so swings and roundabouts.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
530
Reaction score
538
Location
CT
Bank of America Travel Rewards card charges 0 foreign transaction fee and 0 annual fee. And it has 1.5% cash back everywhere. Not bad.
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
Don't forget most CC charge a foreign transaction fee on top of their currency exchange rate and that can range from 0-3%. Check with your card. I use Chase Sapphire and its fee is zero, but the annual fee is quite high at $99, so swings and roundabouts.
Yeah you're right, I think the next post(s) I made make it more clear, but I actually meant that fee with the 1%.

Unfortunately in most of Europe a CC isn't as common and there aren't a lot of attractive options pricewise if you don't travel a lot. (at least, from my personal perspective)
Often stores charge a 2.5% transaction fee even in local currency when using credit- instead of debit cards 😐 fortunately that's slowly starting to change though.
 

4wa1l

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
68
Location
Aus
I've just ordered from Japan. Shipping with DHL to Aus, so we'll see how it goes.

If doing a transfer with paypal (not using it as a payment option with an online store), is it possible to pay directly in the foreign currency or are you forced to use the paypal conversion?
 

panda

O.G.
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
8,001
Reaction score
2,329
Location
south florida
the last item i ordered from japan was a carbon fiber car part, it weighed less than the packaging but its a pretty good sized box and shipping was still over $100 for DHL express. arrived in 3 business days
 

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
I've just transferred 52600 JPY through paypal using my Revolut. Using Revolut I saved around 20 euro.

I exchanged 425 euro to have a little bit more than 52600 yen in my Revolut account. Paypal also gave me the opportunity to use their currency rates, and their quote was 405 GBP, meaning (using market rates!) 445 euro. If you want to use Revolut and pay in yen, choose within paypal to have the cc company use their conversion rates, then Revolut will just use the base currency (so JPY in this case).
 
Last edited:

IsoJ

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
753
Reaction score
1,351
Location
Finland
Decided to try EMS from Japan, one knife shipping fee 2600 yen. Cheap if it arrives before next summer 😊.
 

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
635
Location
Asia
I know that as well, and have looked into that before, but I don't think it's that big of a problem. It's usually < 1% as well, but also depends on the time of day and market changes etc. These rates are (as far as I know) also available through your bank or the CC issuer's website (depending on who issued the card) :)
No, it's really a big problem and it's better to not use Paypal at all and simply make a transfer into a store's Japanese domestic bank account in Japanese yen.
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
No, it's really a big problem and it's better to not use Paypal at all and simply make a transfer into a store's Japanese domestic bank account in Japanese yen.
My bank also charges a fee for transactions in foreign currencies.

I just checked it, and right now transferring through my bank vs using a CC with PP would save me 0.8%.
While I could save that 0.8%, it also means the insurance I have when using my CC is gone.
 

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
635
Location
Asia
No one uses a bank instead of Revolut and Transferwise to make cross-border bank transfers these days. The USA is actually way behind even Africa in this department.

You are not looking at just the bank or credit card foreign transaction fee, you need to look at the bad exchange rate given.
 

Wahnamhong

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
241
Reaction score
211
Location
Rotterdam
No, it's really a big problem and it's better to not use Paypal at all and simply make a transfer into a store's Japanese domestic bank account in Japanese yen.
If a knife maker in Japan insists on using paypal, e.g. Watanabe, you can still use the Revolut market exchange rate as the source of that paypal transfer. See my earlier post from today.

Paypal offers the option to have the cc company do the conversion, so Revolut will then just use JPY. Revolut does not charge a fee for the transaction.
 

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
635
Location
Asia
That's correct, though many stores with younger owners or staff (not Watanabe and not Teruyasu Fujiwara, for example) will understand what a direct Revolut or Transferwise bank transfer will do.
 

Chopper88

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
27
Location
Europe
No one uses a bank instead of Revolut and Transferwise to make cross-border bank transfers these days. The USA is actually way behind even Africa in this department.

You are not looking at just the bank or credit card foreign transaction fee, you need to look at the bad exchange rate given.
I am not from the USA ;)

Great discussion though, as I said earlier I am open to new options. I just dove into all the options I have including Revolut.

I was talking about the exchange rate earlier, it's a 1.2% fee when paying abroad with a debit card, and a € 7 fee + a 0.1% markup on the market exchange rate with a minimum of € 5 and a max of € 25 when transferring abroad, and a 2% fee when using a CC. That 0.8% came from me comparing a CC vs transferring from a bank account.
So when talking about the actual exchange rate markup, it depends on the amount transferred which would be the better option when using my bank.

Just ran the math for a quick example:

When I need to pay 50.000 JPY, it will cost me:
€ 402,24 when transferring JPY using Revolut (50.000 / 124.3028 (the Interbank exchange rate when I made the calculation))
€ 412,70 when transferring foreign currency through my bank (400,82 (50.000 / 124.745 (the rate my bank uses today)) + 7 (fee) + 5 (markup))
€ 411,12 when paying with CC in foreign currency through PP (just used the conversion rate calculator on the bank's website)
€ 418,86 when paying in local currency through PP (400,82 * 1.045 (4.5% PP charges))

When using Revolut, it would save me around € 12, or 2.7% (when being fair, and not taking the small exchange rate difference between my bank and the current mid-day Interbank rate) on such a transaction in general over using a CC, but the buyer has to accept the direct transfer, and I have to accept I have no insurance from my CC.

I think it's worth considering, and will get a Revolut card since it's free anyway, to have the option. But I still think it's not that big of a problem for me personally as I don't have 50 of these transactions a month where it begins to add up, and I am actually giving up insurance for that € 12 saving.
 
Top