Saying Yes to YesAsia: Free Worldwide Shipping + PayPal + Wide Selection = Smiles

Hey…how’s it going? Looking forward to any blockbusters this summer? Me too.

But back on topic. So, there’s this store called YesAsia, and they’ve been around for a while, but I never really took them seriously back then. Maybe it was because, unlike Amazon, product reviews by users were so few and far between, and when they did have them, they were sort of ungrammatical, or at least nonstandard, like: “Gilian Lweung is teh ossum!” [sic] [sic] [sic] [sic] [sic] [SICK!]

Also, their shopping cart system just used to feel clunky.

So, my “suppliers” were primarily Amazon.co.jp and books.com.tw. Books.com.tw has been acting up for a couple of months now – the site often won’t load properly if at all, and so it’s become a very hit-and-miss thing as to whether I can go there and actually order some cartoons, I mean, learning materials, for myself. Meanwhile, Amazon.co.jp has admittedly pretty durn high international shipping (what I used to do was ship it to my Japanese friend’s house, and then have him ship to me).

Which brings us to…(why are my posts so long!) YesAsia. While they certainly don’t have the selection of regular books that Amazon does, they do still have quite a bit, especially in the manga department. And I’d say they’re basically even with Amazon in terms of videos; they even have the Hollywood dubs. Also, they supply Japanese, Chinese and Korean stuff, fully covering the northeast Asian spectrum. As my kindergarten teacher used to call it: “full spectrum dominance”, as in: “Khatzumoto, get inside at once, or I shall use my full spectrum dominance on you!!“.

Mago and Kenji Want Food

But what really got my attention focused on YesAsia was their current free worldwide shipping offer. That means, folks, that the price you see on the item is all you pay. No more waiting to “batch up” your items to minimize shipping cost. You can make a purchase as small as you want, and make more frequent purchases.

You can also use their truly multilingual interface (one of the few on the internets), to navigate in Japanese, Chinese, Korean or English.

Finally, I really like the option to pay by PayPal; I’m not particularly inclined to baramaku (scatter) credit card numbers to the four corners of the interwebs, so that some enterprising youngling, feeling his oats, can come hack into a server and take them away to sell it on IRC…

TMI?

Anyway, I’m going to go feed my cats their precious raw bird flesh now before they mutiny. Do give YesAsia a try if they have what you’re looking for. As long as the free shipping thing is going on, it should be worth it. When buying DVDs and stuff, be sure to double-check the language.

(P.S.: If you’re in Japan looking for Japanese stuff, then buying used on Amazon.jp would probably be best. But if in Japan looking for Chinese/Korean stuff, or outside of Japan looking for Chinese/Japanese/Korean materials, then, yeah, try YesAsiaing it).

  29 comments for “Saying Yes to YesAsia: Free Worldwide Shipping + PayPal + Wide Selection = Smiles

  1. Ryan
    June 16, 2008 at 22:48

    Hey, since you’re into Cantonese, you might want to look into 香港仔日記 by 黃霑 if you haven’t heard about it. The four books together constitute nearly a thousand pages of REAL ACTUAL WRITTEN CANTONESE!!!!!!!!!!! plus they look pretty comical.

  2. Savara
    June 16, 2008 at 23:14

    Yesasia is wonderful, I pretty much order everything I need (well, related to Japanese that is) there. One thing you should probably mention though, if there are any extras, you don’t usually get those.

    … But the free shipping (above 25 dollars or so, which isn’t that much) certainly makes up for that! (Also, for people who like music… Usually the Hong Kong version of CDs are much cheaper than the Japanese versions, but contain exactly the same contend (yeah yeah, too bad there isn’t any Japanese on the box… it’s worth it though.) … And, although subtitles aren’t needed, right (^_~) Hong kong version usually has Japanese audio and English subs! So if you ever want to watch something together with family or friends who don’t study Japanese or aren’t that far into the whole thing yet, you have subs 🙂

  3. khatzumoto
    June 16, 2008 at 23:20

    @Ryan
    Wow! My cup runneth over! Thank you VERY much! 😀

  4. jhr
    June 17, 2008 at 00:03

    The only downside to yesasia is that it usually takes about a month to get your order. For Japanese books it’s much faster to order from Kinokuniya in the US if they have it in stock. Unfortunately, while Kinokuniya has similar prices to yesasia they do not have free shiping.

  5. Shirow66
    June 17, 2008 at 00:39

    I am a long time shopper of yesasia, they are great and I can really recommend them to anyone interested in trying them out.

    jhr: I’m not sure if it has to do with your location (I’m in Sweden myself), but I’ve only had an item take a month to arrive once, and that was because it was a DS game that just sold out in all of Japan, and they had to wait for more stock. If they have the stuff in stock I usually get it in one week or so, if it’s stuff like Japanese manga that they don’t have in stock, it usually takes 5-7 days extra.
    The best thing besides the free shipping is that they actually send out the package from inside the EU to me, so I don’t have to pay the shitty custom fees and the steep 25% Swedish sales tax for the stuff.

  6. Rebeca
    June 17, 2008 at 01:17

    Im a bit confused trying to use Yes Asia….

    I live in the states, and I haven’t been able to order anything from them yet (videos) cuz of the whole “region DVD” problem…

    can anyone tell me how this works?

    Basically what Im looking for is the Japanese version of disney cartoon, but compatible with American DVD players (basically, the videos that are shipped to the Japanese communities in the US)

    anyone have any ideas how i can get my hands on these?

  7. scout
    June 17, 2008 at 01:39

    @jhr
    If you order from Kinokuniya U.S. West Coast area, shipping is free for orders $100 and up. East Coast on the other hand has fixed shipping rates.

    My only gripe with Kinokuniya was the packaging. The books weren’t completely covered in plastic, so I worried they might have been damaged if the package was exposed to moisture. Sasuga on the other hand seems to go to great lengths with packaging to ensure your books arrive in pristine condition.

  8. khatzumoto
    June 17, 2008 at 02:26

    @jhr
    Like Shirow66 said, it could be your location, it could also be the item you ordered. Some items do take a while to get in stock (YesAsia, like Amazon, gives an estimate for when an item will ship and when it should arrive, in my experience they always keep well within these estimates, but then I do live in Japan and YesAsia is at least registered in HK…Sounds like they have other warehouses, though).

    @Rebeca
    IMHO, you really will need a region-free (multi-region) DVD player. You can get one new in the $50 range. Unfortunately, you may cause yourself a lot of (unfruitful) work trying to find Japanese materials in region 1 only.

  9. UberStuber
    June 17, 2008 at 04:33

    @Rebeca

    If you’re okay using your computer to watch movies, vlc media player will play all regions.

  10. nacest
    June 17, 2008 at 06:46

    I’ve ordered form YesAsia just 10 days ago. It’s my first order but I do like the free shipping and paypal service.

    The only “problem” is that they are quite slow, imho. If it was Amazon, my order would have arrived 6 days ago. Yesasia estimates July 2 as the ship out date, plus a couple of weeks to get it here. That makes around 35-40 days in total. And I’m out of manga, NOW. I can f-feel the first signs a mental br-breakdown…

    PS. It’s not because of one or two out-of-stock items. All of the things I ordered (manga, books, movies) had an estimated shipping time of 21 days.

  11. David
    June 17, 2008 at 07:12

    For Chinese (esp. Cantonese) movies, I highly recommend www.hmv.com.hk/ !

  12. captal
    June 17, 2008 at 09:00

    Wow. The dramas are so expensive… $300+ for some. Luckily it’s legal to download them where they aren’t licensed. I’ll probably pick some up when I get to Japan, for the Japanese subtitles.

    • February 16, 2011 at 02:49

      I’m pretty sure it’s not legal to download something just because it hasn’t been licensed in your country.

  13. bubble
    June 17, 2008 at 12:15

    @ Uberstuber
    Not necessarily. Certain Macs, at least, are screwed because they have hardware region-code stuff that VLC cannot bypass. It depends what DVD drive you have. You can, however, switch your region coding – but typically only a limited number of times. Four or five, perhaps? But to start out with, the DVD drive is the same region as the first disc inserted.

    @ captal
    No, it’s not legal. International copyright law – if it’s copyrighted in one part of the world, it’s copyrighted in most of the world. However, because it’s not licensed, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get in serious trouble.
    I do believe it’s legal to download in Japan though, but not upload.

  14. Savara
    June 17, 2008 at 18:27

    You don’t need a special region free DVD player to play other region DVDs… Most DVD players can be changed to region-free by using a code (find it somewhere online 😉 Google something like “brand + modelnumber of DVD player” + “change region/make region free” or whatever…

    it was actually a guy in a shop who pointed that out to me, most of the time you can get it to be ‘region free’ just by entering a code (sometimes a long code with some weird instructions though (“switch off DVD player, press button X, power on again, switch off, enter this code… and tadaa”)) with the remote control.

  15. khatzumoto
    June 17, 2008 at 20:15

    @Savara…
    region free hack…good point
    バカ、俺・・・

  16. きのこ
    June 17, 2008 at 20:52

    I wonder if they’ll ship to Africa if you pay through Paypal. I’ll give it a shot if/when Haruhi volume 10 comes out.

  17. captal
    June 18, 2008 at 11:03

    @bubble
    Straight from one of the fansub sites: www.sars-fansubs.com/index.php?cont=faqs#11

    Are fansubs legal?
    ____
    Yes. However, if the series you are watching become licensed in your area, please stop distribution of said series. Here at SARS-Fasubs we provide files that are not currently licensed, these are “by fans for fans” files and remain legal in your area as long as they remain unlicensed in your area.
    ____
    And if it is legal to download in Japan… wouldn’t that apply to anywhere else since they are Japanese dramas?

  18. Saru Sponge
    June 18, 2008 at 13:17

    @captal

    Unfortunately, this isn’t how the law works. Either way, the best thing is to ignore it and do what you feel is right.

  19. Rob
    June 18, 2008 at 21:27

    @Rebeca

    Also if you have a computer and don’t want to spring for a region-free DVD player, you can use the free program DVD Shrink (google it to find a download link) to make a region free copy of your DVD that will play on any DVD player. That’s what I do with my Japanese DVDs.

  20. jhr
    June 19, 2008 at 01:05

    The items I’ve bought in past have all been books with estimated shipping dates of 21 days, and it has been the sourcing that has taken a long time, not the actual shipping. That said, I just bought three books each with 21 day estimates and they shipped within a few days; it’s been around a year since I last used yesasia so they might have gotten faster. If so, it might make it preferable to kinokuniya.

    @scout
    The problem is each individual store doesn’t seem to have that great stock so even though I may want to buy $100 of books it isn’t necessarily easy for me to buy them all from one single store. I assume the shipping costs are calculated after dividing the order between the individual stores? Or is that not the case?

  21. June 19, 2008 at 14:24

    seems like lots of cantonese and japanese dubs, but i don’t see any mandarin dubs of anything i’ve heard of. Anyone have tips for finding mandarin dubs of disney or some popular tv series? is there mandarin star trek or csi or something?

    maybe the mistake is that i’m browsing in english. browsing in chinese led me to The Incredibles (mandarin version), so that’s one video at least. at $20 per movie this is gonna get expensive fast. probably more worth my time to go check out the night-market in chinatown for cheap vcds.

  22. June 19, 2008 at 15:31

    Awesome site! Thanks a lot dude!

    I am sooo placing an order for Serbia and waiting to see what’ll happen 🙂

  23. p-tik
    September 18, 2008 at 11:57

    Hey everybody–

    I’m looking to buy some dvds dubbed in Japanese and with Japanese subtitles. Can I just assume that every American movie on amazon.jp has these features? I can’t yet read most of what’s on amazon.jp, even if I click the translate to English button. So I’m worried that I’ll order a movie that has subtitles in Nihongo, but no audio. Am I freakin’ out about nothing, or is there something I should look for indicating Japanese audio?

    Thanks for the help y’all.

  24. p-tik
    September 19, 2008 at 12:48

    Never mind. I found what I’m looking for. And it was right in front of me:

    Language: 英語, 日本語
    Subtitles: 日本語, 英語

    The dvd I was looking at originally, a Star Wars boxset, didn’t have this info, but I’ve found it on everything else. So I’m good. Thanks anyway.

  25. April 13, 2009 at 23:43

    Buying stuff from other countries isn’t easy, in your case the shipping is very tricky. You have to ship the goods to Japan then to you.

    Payment options, shipping price and customers service are issues that we worried. Thanks again for recommendation. I will look if I can buy some Japanese novel books from that website.

  26. Amelia
    April 26, 2009 at 04:06

    Btw, Amazon China is FANTASTIC. Chinese prices, cheap shipping, and it’s never taken more than 2 weeks to get the US. And the selection is awesome–and so are the reviews, which help me decide if a particular book or something is really worth getting. The only downside is they won’t ship software or let you use the MP3 download system…but honestly, Amazon US has some Chinese downloads, and iTunes is getting better–they keep adding Modern Sky compilations. 🙂

  27. Gary
    July 31, 2009 at 10:39

    YesAsia is great, I usually get my Asian music albums from them (the ones that I feel are really worth having the actual copy of). And on the topic of HK dramas, you can easily find Chinese subbed versions up for download on every major HK forum (Uwants, Discuss) spontaneously, though I don’t know the legality of them in Japan. Too bad the JP dramas I watch online are either raw or subbed, no reading practice :(.

  28. Kimm
    September 21, 2010 at 04:08

    I don’t like yesasia, cause the shipping is not free in my country (Czech Republic)…25$ for shipping is a lot imo (i could buy another cd for that)…so yeah…sadly, i don’t know any other site that would be as good and safe

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