So how easy is it to buy that latest watch model from Japan?
Rather than talk about what should or should not happen, the following is an account of my own experience just recently and over a UK Monday Bank holiday as it happens.
Not being able to get the watch I wanted in the UK – the Casio PRW3000T-7 Titanium bracelet version, I decided to purchase from one of my preferred Japaneses sources – http://www.shoppinginjapan.net The main reason I like this company is that they have a good stock of the latest Japanese domestic models, often not available elsewhere – and if they indicate on their web sites they have stock – they do! (How often have some said they do when they patently don’t!).
They are not only online being on Ebay and also have a direct internet site, but also are physically located beside the Bay Side Marina Shopping Arcade (open 10-4 Monday/Friday) in Yokohama and have a direct phone contact so you can talk to a live person. The web site is good and they have a large stock not only of the latest watch models, but all sorts of electronics, cameras and so on. They can also be found on Facebook where they display many photographs of the watches they sell.
Prices are quoted in most currencies and they have a currency calculator link onsite, so it’s easy and delivery is FREE worldwide.
The buying process couldn’t be easier as they use Paypal and delivery is via EMS who hook up with Parcelforce here in the UK.
So in my case things went as follows –
26th April – Went online (used Ebay entry) and bought with Paypal.
26th April – Received email confirmation of the purchase via Ebay and Paypal.
26th April – Received Email from the shop confirming payment and advising they would post item the following day. They noted delivery times were usually around 8 working days to the UK.
28th April – Received Email update from Ebay confirming item sent.
May 1st – Email from shop advising Tracking number and confirmed posting on 28th. This included an EMS tracing report – showing item posted 28th April – and already in UK Customs on the 30th April.
7th May – Using the tracing tracking number – item was shown as moved from Customs to Delivery at Parcelforce Post Office UK and HELD – pending Customs charge.
8th May – Having the advantage of knowing the item was being HELD – I phoned Parcelforce, was advised the charge and paid over the phone.
9th May (Friday) – Received letter from Parcelforce advising item HELD and payment required etc – – however I’d already done this and advised it would be released and posted Monday 12th may.
12th May – Watch arrived via Parcelforce at lunchtime. All OK and in perfect order.
So bearing in mind this clashed with a UK Monday Bank holiday this was pretty good.
So what payments are we talking about?
Basically this is 17% UK VAT plus a Clearance Fee from Parcelforce for sending out letters, processing of payment to them and subsequently transferring to Customs , which was £13.50.
So a perfect transaction with shoppinginjapan and a pleasure to do business with and in a pretty quick delivery – only being held a few days at UK Customs until import charge paid. The charges can be paid either online or phone and if you use your tracking info, once you see it is held – simply phone them up and pay – saves you waiting for their letter. The watch is released the same day. So pretty efficient even at this UK end.
And this is the watch in question –
Yes this is it – wearing it already and changed the Home City to the UK very easily (it was set to Tokyo) then set it to Receive and the Radio Control picked up the signal from the UK transmitter at full strength (I’m in Scotland) and the time changed immediately to UK time (auto-adjusted for British Summer Time DST). I’ve also already tried out the Digital Compass without calibrating it and it’s spot on – Wow! that was a surprise.
So highly delighted with this watch and so glad to see that the size reduction is perfect for me – once I adjusted the bracelet links (removed 4 all together) remembering the small split collar holders within the links, which took me about 10 minutes max. No doubt this is one of the best Casio’s yet and my Japan transaction one of the easiest.