Sorry for the lack of updates. I have been busy recently and have not been reading much. Also, I was feeling really down the other day. This was because Honto sent an email telling you that they are stopping overseas shipping. They suggest using the proxy service Buyee, but I guess they don’t realize how troublesome it is and that it makes your purchases more expensive than it already is. And shipping itself is expensive to begin with especially because SAL is not available right now.
Buying directly through Honto was really handy because since they ship overseas they did not charge you tax. The tax would be charged by customs. And they shipped by surface, SAL, airmail and EMS. I don’t like registered mail and refuse to pay the exrra 400 yen for a service that is inconvenient for me. It was nice that they did not force you to have your books shipped using the registered option. With Buyee they ship SAL and airmail packages with the registered option, and you have no choice to decline it. I sent them an email telling them that Honto mailed without the registered option and since they are telling us to use Buyee perhaps they can offer that too. I got a response saying that they cannot do that and you have to have it mailed as registered.
This really sucks because Honto says Buyee gives you more shipping options, but it doesn’t. Right now, you can only ship small packages by airmail, without it being registered.. That means Buyee doesn’t offer the airmail option. They only offer surface mail, which takes 3 months, and the more expensive DHL and FexEx. Both the expensive options get even more expensive because they charge a ridiculous handling fee in addition to the tax. I had a package recently sent by DHL because that was the only option Mandarake gave (as they only offer the airmail and SAL with registered only too) and was really surprised to see a $20 handling fee. Tax was like $3. And this is on top of the shipping fee you pay. So in total I paid much more for DHL to deliver my package than the cost of the actual item.
Also, using Buyee means you have to pay the tax twice. Once to have it delivered to the Buyee warehouse (because the destination from Honto is in Japan) and then to customs. It was nice saving the tax from Honto because it would kinda cover the shipping cost.
And not being able to buy through Honto directly means you can’t acquire points. I usually had about 500 points or more each month which I used for the physical manga purchases. This helped me a lot. But now you won’t be able to gain point or use them.
Oh, and don’t forget the fees you have to pay to have them order and accept your package if you buy using Buyee.
So in conclusion, I am not happy at all that Honto is dropping overseas shipping. Their suggestion is to use an expensive option and they truly don’t seem to care about their customers. I am sure they had a lot of overseas customers. Their reasoning is that Covid is restricting the shipping. I will be surprised (and happy) if they resume overseas shipping after the pandemic dies down or is over and airplanes start flying frequently like previously. I actually don’t see this happening because they wrote that they were ceasing shipping to overseas and not just stopping it for the time being.
Goodbye, the last online bookstore in Japan that had reasonable shipping prices and options. I will not being ordering as often from you and since I have to pay taxes too I will order from other stores that send BL books with extras instead. (For these I use the forwarding service Big in Japan. Their usage fee is 500 yen and they offer non-registered options).