New arrival and review of Tenso.com

I swung by the post office on the way to work this morning since I received a notice that a package had come in (apparently I was vacuuming and didn’t hear the doorbell ring). My Miyuki Figma had arrived, courtesy of Tenso.com.

IMG_3006 IMG_3008

IMG_3009 IMG_3011

The package arrived in good condition and it appears that Tenso had put a new shipping label on the box and forwarded it on. It didn’t seem the seller had anticipated that Miyuki would be flying overseas, so no padding was used at all…

IMG_3013Kagami, Tsukasa and kitty welcome Miyuki to her new home

You may have noticed that Konata is missing from these shots. I was going to pose her on top of the box in a sitting position, but there was an accident when I tried to do that. Apparently the joint was a bit tight or weak (never really tried to pose her before) and it snapped as soon as I tried to move it. ;_;

IMG_3014Poor Konata… she doesn’t get to join Miyuki

I’ll definitely try to replace her, but I haven’t had much luck finding a seller that still has them in stock (aside from eBay). Realistically though, I’d just be looking to replace the leg piece, so if anyone knows where I can get a spare left leg for Figma 008, I’d be open to options…

IMG_3021 Since Konata is temporarily out of commission, Miyuki has taken her place on the shelf

As for the actual Tenso service, it seems like a pretty good concept. I can see how it could be useful for people trying to buy goods from a Japanese retailer that doesn’t ship outside of Japan. The process itself is pretty simple:

  1. Go to Tenso.com and sign up for an account
  2. Once the account is activated, they provide you with what amounts to a PO Box at their offices in Tokyo
  3. When purchasing from a Japanese retailer, provide them with your Tenso address
  4. Once Tenso has received the package, they contact you for shipping payment (a small shipping and handling fee applies on top of actual shipping cost)
  5. When they’ve received your payment (they take credit card and PayPal), they’ll put a shipping label on the box and send it to you
  6. You wait and check tracking every 15 minutes to find out where it is
  7. Package arrives via EMS and delivered by your local postal system

In all, a nice little business model. It is very easy to set up and use. For my order, however, I struggled a bit to see the value of the service. Miyuki cost 2244 Yen from a marketplace seller on Amazon.co.jp. Shipping charges from Tenso added 1990 Yen more, bringing the total to 4234 Yen or US$42. The current going rate for a Miyuki Figma from Toylet.net is $30+$10 shipping.

Now, using the service may be worthwhile on something a bit larger and expensive, as the service charge would be a smaller percentage of the item cost. With a small order such as this, it doesn’t make much sense to go with this method. It may also be worthwhile to get rare items that can’t be found elsewhere except for Japanese auction sites or smaller online retailers.

Thanks Danny for allowing me the opportunity to try out this
service! Now to see if I can replace Konata or her leg…

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8 thoughts on “New arrival and review of Tenso.com

  1. haha, I’m bookmarking this entry XD I never could figure out tenso.com, though it sounds like it would save me a crap load of money for shipping, especially since I’m considering to get started on figure collecting! ;-; I feel your pain with Konata. My first figma was Suzaku and his arm snapped clean off, even though I thought I was being delicate!!! Too bad I can’t jsut buy another Suzaku figma, he costs close to 90 without shopping and he’s hard to find T0T

    • For inexpensive and small stuff, services like Tenso aren’t really worth it (as I found out). I see it as being worthwhile for hard to find items, but you’ll end up paying a lot on shipping. Remember, you have to pay the seller to ship to Tenso, then you pay Tenso to ship to you.

      • I have to disagree with you on that. I recently recently ordered two books from Amazon.co.jp. The total for the books came in around Y1200. However, Amazon only uses the most expensive shipping option ever to get stuff to Europe. This means that for those two books I’d be paying ~Y4000 in S&H. o_O

        With Tenso I could bring this down to a more manageable Y2200, which makes it about 26 euros in total for a manga and a softcover book. That’s actually not bad when compared to prices in the Netherlands (one manga usually goes for around 10 euros).

        By getting more books I can even make it worth my while more, because the Y2200 rate would apply to everything up to a kilo. Nice :)

  2. I just used Tenso for the first time and I am very disappointed at how expensive it is. I bought about a dozen nintendo games and 5 books. The cost of what I bought is less than $300…How much for shipping with Tenso? About $100. That is right. My stuff weighs 3,000 grams (less than 7 lbs) in total. Shipping it is more than $100. I made a huge mistake choosing Tenso. If I could do it over, I would have used another company. Tenso only uses EMS, which is definitely not the cheapest shipping option.

    What really pisses me off is that after I consolidated the items and got my estimate of about $100, they sent me notice that I could pay. So I go to pay and see that the weight of my items has gone up after consolidation so now I have to pay even more for my shipping. How the F does the weight go up after consolidation? DId they add a couple of gold bars in there for me as a free gift for being a first time customer? It is pretty annoying.

  3. Services such as tenso is very hard to expect the end outcome, just like Rinkya. People is always shocked in the end by how expensive they are. They won’t tell you how much is their service fees and shipping they would charge you before the item arrived, I think this is the main problem. I suggest Middleman services such as yokattaweb.jp or perhaps Celga where you can actually converse with real people while ordering.

  4. Hey I’m trying to use Tenso, but I can’t figure out how to enter in my address… On the website I’m buying from it breaks it down (as usual) and i have to enter my street, city, region, zip, etc. all separately.. However, Tenso just gave me this one address all in Japanese and I don’t know what is what… Soo… any help?

  5. Also, Rakuten does their own international shipping — is it better just to go through them and forget Tenso? .. It’s the first time I do this, so any help is appreciated :)

    • Well, it all comes down to cost. If the seller offers international shipping, it’ll likely be cheaper than using a proxy service since you’ll be paying the shipping cost directly to the seller. With services like Tenso, you’ll pay whatever the domestic shipping cost is to the seller, then you pay Tenso to ship internationally, and then also pay them the service fee.

      These services are probably best if you’re buying from a place that only ships within Japan.

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