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Tenso – a Shopping Service in Japan

What is Tenso? It’s a service that helps you buy items from Japan! Any store! Even auctions!

I recently bought a t-shirt from U/F ONLINE – the official merchandise shop for Hello!Project (a conglomeration of cute idols in Japan).

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog
How did I do it? Tenso!

Read more to find out how to use Tenso and my review of the service! Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

Before we start, I want to stress I am in no way affiliated with Tenso. I am just giving my honest opinions here!

Now that’s out of the way, lets get the basics down now.

What can Tenso do?

  • Shopping Service – Is there a store you want to buy from in Japan? They will do everything a to z. They will purchase it for you, have it sent to their warehouse, and send it to your house.
  • Package Forwarding Service - This is the service you want to use to save money. The difference from above is that you buy the items yourself and send it to their warehouse in Japan to be forwarded on to your house. Many Japanese websites will accept your major credit cards, ie. Mastercard, Visa.

The Shopping Service results in much higher fees from Tenso – 1,500 yen for orders under 10,000 yen and 15% of product price for anything above that. This does not include all the shipping fees incurred.

Despite the costs, you have the confidence that your items have been ordered properly since there is language barrier with the sites. Additionally, it’s not always the case that these shops accept overseas credit cards. But thus far, I have not run into that.

My preference is to use the Package Forwarding Service. The fees are a lot more inexpensive. See the breakdown below -

Weight Service Fee
~1.0kg 490 yen
1.0~3.0kg 980 yen
3.0~5.0kg 1,580 yen
5.0~10.0kg 1,980 yen
10.0~20.0kg 2,980 yen
20.0~30.0kg 3,980 yen

As you can see, the 1,500 yen mark is not met until you order 3-5kg which is loads!

Sounds alright.. but how much does it cost in total, strawberry?

This page on Tenso has run down on the fees.
There’s also a calculator at the bottom of the page. If you’re not sure how much your items weigh – this is a good site to estimate.

In total, there’s 4 kind of fees -

  • Service Fee – did you use the shopping service or package forwarding?
  • Shipping Fee - Consider the weight of your package.
  • Consolidation Fee – If you have ordered more than 1 package, Tenso can put them together in one package. This will help save money for shipping, but each package costs 300yen and there is also an application fee of 200 yen. So Consolidation costs at least 500 yen.
  • Customs Fee – Like all overseas orders, you have to worry about the customs fees that may apply. However, the good thing about Tenso is that you can mark the items as gifts and decrease the value of the items.

The costs can begin to add up – mostly due to the shipping fee. So avoid buying heavy items when you can.

To get an idea of the costs, my order in January which weighed 1.4kg cost 5,180 yen for shipping, 1 consolidation fee, and service fees.
I bought 1 hoodie, a t-shirt, and a CD. So it was quite expensive considering how little I bought, but I was getting things I wouldn’t have been able to get without this service.
I got an out of print CD still shrink wrapped which would have been impossible to find on English sites unless marked up heavily.

That’s great and all. But how well did Tenso do?

Pros

  • I like the freedom of the package forwarding service. I just buy everything I want and just send it to them.
  • I didn’t have any actual interaction with them, but the service seemed very fast.

Cons

  • The only shipping option is EMS which is Express Mail! It’s super duper expensive. The shipping often costs as much or more than the actual price of the items.
  • They did not take pictures of my items. With other agents I have used, they took pictures to ensure nothing was damaged from domestic shipping. If something does break, it will be hard to pin it on them.

I am really happy that I was able to get these things I wouldn’t have gotten without Tenso’s help. But this is something I won’t be using often. It’s just wayyyy to expensive.

I found another package forwarding service called White Rabbit Express which has cheaper shipping methods. I will be giving them a try soon and letting you guys know how it goes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it goes well. Cos there’s loads more I loved to buy! Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

strawberry, I’m interested – tell me how to use Tenso already!

First things first – register at Tenso.

Sign up at Tenso.

After that, you will get an email with your Tenso Address. This is important! You will be using this address to send your packages to!

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

Be sure to note the TS(your member id here). It’s vital that you paste this information in the address. That way Tenso can identify this package belongs to YOU when you have it sent to their warehouse.

You can start buying now!

I will be doing an overview on how to order from U/F Online, but the same principles apply from any online shopping.

  • Tip#1: Google Translate is your friend in times of need.
  • Tip#2: If there are images that you need translated – use newocr. It will take the text from images and translate them!
  • Tip#3: If you have issues, you may want to try Internet Explorer. IE was the only way I could get U/F Online to accept my credit card.

So.. lets buy this picture. Because I am crazy about Sayumi!

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

The blue button will lead to the way to the cart.

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

And now the glorious internet has brought us to the cart and this much closer to Sayu! The ominous blue button is the correct path again.

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

Now it’s asking us to log in. But I’m lazy so I’ll just use guest check out. So I’ll be clicking the bottom blue button.

And this is the scary part that relies heavily on Google Translate!

We’ll need to fill out Billing Information, Shipping Address, and Credit Card details

All parts of the form with Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog next to it mean it’s a required field.

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

The first part of the form is your Billing Information.

The first field is your first and last name. Last Name comes first.

The second field is the pronunciation of your name which unfortunately requires you input Japanese.
My Japanese is basic so I was able to do that, but if you guys need help – I can try to help! A Google search should at least help with your first name if it’s a common one.

I had difficulty putting my Billing Address correctly. I had to play around with it a couple of times to get it right.

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

And then here’s to the above – putting in your mailing address.

The first numbers are the postal code – 〒120-0023.

The second field is the area - 東京都.

Then the actual address – 東京都 足立区 千住曙町42-4 TS(Your Member Id here)

And fourth, the building name – 通販商品配送サービス TENSO 取次ぎ.

And fifth is just the telephone number – 03-5739-3341.

It took me awhile to decipher the address and how to put it in. So I hope this is helpful! Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

After that, there will be a section of the form asking you to sign up to their site. I don’t think I did this since I haven’t received any emails from them! It’s up to you guys if you want to join. I’m sure there’s some perks to joining!

Then it comes to the payment section.

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog This section is pretty straight forward. But here it is!

You want to select Credit Card obviously.There is an option to pay in installments, but I’m not sure why you would want that. Just pick the default option.

So after all this has been filled out, you will get a confirmation email.
It was worrying for me because I didn’t hear anything more after that – nada. Maybe because U/F Online is just ghetto. But I didn’t get any confirmation this was sent. I just suddenly received an email from Tenso one day that my package had been received!

After that, Tenso asked me to pay for the shipping. But I was still waiting on another item to be shipped from Amazon Japan.

When Tenso received that, I simply went on their site to get my packages consolidated. You have to give them 1 business day to that. Then you can pay for shipping and then it was on my way to me with a tracking number!

Anyways, lets just congratulate ourselves for having bought this amazing Sayu picture which I can frame on my wall and worship every day! Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

Yes, Sayu. I love you too. Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog

So now that I have taught you how to buy Sayu pics, all of you guys will be buying them up, right? Yup, I knew I could trust you guys!

Anyways, I hope you guys found this post helpful.  Thanks for reading! Tenso   a Shopping Service in Japan blog
Please follow me if you like this post!

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19 Comments

  1. Tanja
    Posted May 19, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Sorry for bothering again, but I have question about Tenso^^
    Now we have to submit out documents and it says that when they will verify informations.. they will send you letter,
    so… I can’t order any packets till then?!

    • Tanja
      Posted May 19, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      And that hair band just got sold out… do you think that if I wait for day or two it will be in stock again?? But I am a bit scareed that during this time even shirt will sould out xD this is a beetle field TuT

      • strawberryjam
        Posted May 19, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        About your first comment, I’m not sure what you’re asking about. Verify information? Do you mean your name where you had to send your ID? I haven’t gone through that process yet.

        U/F Online takes 1 month to ship so I suggest just ordering it if you can. So even if you need to verify your ID, I doubt it will take a month.

        I’m really sad the scrunchy AND the pass case sold out T_T It’s very unlikely they will re-stock. :( So I suggest buying now unless you were interested in buying the socks. I don’t think the plushy chains will ever be stocked. She’s shown those plushies off on her blog before, but I don’t think they ever showed up on U/F Online T_T.

  2. Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    I want to buy some goods at U/F Online(Reina sotsugyou goods and some Sayu-Usa <3)
    But I have a problem.
    Please,see this picture:http://ekladata.com/morning-musume.ek.la/perso/ooo.png
    "半角で入力してください。 (郵便番号)
    郵便番号は7桁入力してください。"
    It doesn't want to accept the postal code…Did you have this problem?
    Thank you!
    (I hope my english is good…I'm french…)

    • strawberryjam
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kirarena!

      I think I had this problem as well! Since it is just Billing Information, it shouldn’t be a big deal since Tenso is sending the package to you, NOT U/F Online.
      I believe I had to pad my postal code with zeros. So in Ireland, my postal code is 17, but I added it so it was like 000017. I hope this helps.

  3. Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s OK!
    I’m sorry if I disturb you…
    I saw you at the handshake event in Paris.I didn’t speak to you but I thank you was really really cute!
    I was in a Tanaka-san Colorful Character cosplay…

    • strawberryjam
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know you were there! I have no recollection of someone in a Reina cosplay, you should send me a picture :) Too bad we didn’t talk!
      Will you be going to see C-ute?

  4. Wafi Esa
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I just want to ask… They charged u for JPY3,000 instead of free registration. Is this true?

    • strawberryjam
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks for your comment, Wafi.

      If you’re talking about Tenso, I registered there for free!
      Or are you talking about U/F Online? I didn’t register there at all. But I know it’s possible to.

      Sorry if that didn’t answer your question. Happy to help if you still need it! :heart:

  5. Rossy
    Posted July 21, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Hi
    Thank you for your post!

    I’m sorry if I disturb you…

    Excuse my English, I use the translator

    Tense I signed in for a month. I have to buy about 50 items on amazon japan, all are small and weigh between 100grs and 900grs are all things craft, which are only available in Japan, from what I read in your article, TENSO charge 300yen each. .. then too I have to pay?? = P. What do you recommend?

    • strawberryjam
      Posted July 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Rossy! Thank you for your comment! I’m sorry for the late reply.

      Buying from Amazon is very dangerous. They have many suppliers and may send many different packages. If your items arrive in 5 different packages, it will cost 200 yen for the application and 300 yen for each package. So it works out to 200yen + 5*300yen = 1700 yen! That’s a charge on top of the shipping so I think it’s very expensive.

      I don’t recommend buying from Amazon if you can avoid it because the cost will be unpredictable.

  6. Kat
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I’m going to buy 7 blouses and 7 skirts from Vent Online Store (Lizlisa and Tralala) and I’m really nervous on how much the cost will be in tenso. Will it be expensive??? The total of all my things is about 50000 yen.

    Thanks.

    • Kat
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      Also I forgot to put this in my other post, I live in north america.

    • strawberryjam
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      Hi Kat! Thanks for your comment.

      I predict 7 blouses to weigh roughly 2.45kg and 7 skirts to weight 2.1kg. If you have any similar blouses/skirts at home, I suggest you weigh them if you can to get a better idea how much they weigh.

      So in total, that would weigh 4.55kg. According to Tenso’s fees – the service fee would cost 1580yen and the shipping fee to your house would be 8200yen.

      If Vent Online sends more than one package, then there will be consolidation fee as well. I know Liz Lisa and Tralala are part of the same company, but they’re separate stores so I’m not sure if they’d send more than 1 package.

      I think that’s pretty expensive ^^;; But compared to the price of your order, it’s probably not so much.

      I hope that helps. Again they’re VERY rough estimates. Use your best judgement to decide how much the items weigh. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

      Also, I’d really appreciate if you followed my blog. Followers like you are what keeps this blog going. You’ll find various ways to do it on the sidebar. Thanks! :bear:

  7. Custom avatar Hal
    Posted August 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Hiya, I just ordered from tenso today. I must admit it is very expensive. I also live in Ireland! Could you please let me know how long it took for your parcel to arrive?

    • strawberryjam
      Posted August 24, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Hal! Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad to see someone else in Ireland! Please follow my blog – you’ll find various ways on the sidebar. And I’d love it if we could meet somehow, haha. I don’t have enough friends in Ireland >_<

      And to answer your question, it takes generally 1-2 weeks to arrive. I live in Dublin so it’s basically port to port.

  8. Custom avatar Hale
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks! You’re in luck cause I also live in Dublin! If you have an email on this blog, I’ll send you mine and I’ll be happy to meet up ^^

    • strawberryjam
      Posted August 25, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      I saw your email! Thanks so much! :strawberry:

  9. LovDuri
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Hey there Strawberryjam,

    Thanks so much for the useful info, I’m now confident to buy a bag I’ve wanted for a long time now. Before I do make a purchase I would be grateful for your advice. I’d like to buy from a seller on Rakuten but they only ship within Asia (I’m from the UK). I know that Rakuten promotes Tenso’s services, so do you think that if I sign up to Tenso , they will then be able do the shipping on my behalf?

    xxx

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