tl;dr: if someone has a Zenmarket promo code they'd like to share with me for referral bonus, let me know :)
Well, since my old go-to for Japanese auction/shop proxy will no longer be nearly as efficient for me, I'm looking to sign up for Zenmarket because I hear it's a flat 300 yen fee per item with no extra catches???
No stupid BS "bank wiring" fee? No stupid "consolidation" fee during shipping and stuff like that? Is this truly real? :D
MFC's Review thread for my reference: http://myfigurecollection.net/club/72/discussions/&did=12065
According to them, things sound good so far. XD;
One thing though, I've essentially quit auction hunting cold turkey because I've reached a certain "peak" in collecting older items for my personal (Pokemon) collections. I had a bunch of years I skipped out on, so all of this hunting was for catching up. I think I've essentially finished catching up! There are still consistently new releases coming up, but for the most part I can get them from actual import stores online.
Some other things though, like Pokemon Center releases... I will still need a proxy.
One thing I don't like about Zenmarket now that look at the faqs/terms etc now, they require insurance/tracking on all of their shipments. I'm a big advocate of Small Packet SAL shipping, and at my old proxy, I was used to getting charged around 2000 yen for the max 2000g Small Packet SAL. At Zenmarket, it's 2490 yen instead because they add the tracking as mandatory. https://zenmarket.jp/calc.aspx
I've never needed the tracking/insurance, and in ALL my experiences, tracked/insured Small Packet SAL takes LONGER to arrive than uninsured. I've seen tracked Small Packet get delayed by weeks CONSTANTLY, like 50% of the time, but without the tracking/insurance, I see delays happen less than 5% of the time. In general, I just don't want to pay an extra $4+ for every package that comes to me for no decent reason imo :\
So that's my slight dilemma about actually using Zenmarket. I would still consider using it for specific Pokemon Center orders (for example if I'm getting a small quantity like 2-5 items) because I want to avoid lame consolidation fees that other services are charging lately, but extra charges on shipping are also a no-no. In the end, the bottom-line cost is what matters for me.
It's hard to find someone cheap who'll also SHIP cheap though, lol... I've saved LITERALLY thousands of dollars by getting my items shipped to me without tracking. Seriously, before quitting cold turkey, I had over 500 packages sent to me from my previous proxy as Small Packet SAL, uninsured. That doesn't even account for the many other orders I've had from other online shops in general, shipped to me also by uninsured Small Packet SAL. ^^;;
If you want to rec other proxies that are super cheap, let me know please! XD