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).
How did I do it? Tenso!
Read more to find out how to use Tenso and my review of the service!
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 –
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?
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?
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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!
The blue button will lead to the way to the cart.
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.
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 next to it mean it’s a required field.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Yes, Sayu. I love you too.
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!
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