The Japanese Yen and You

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by Chosen, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Chosen

    Chosen Space Ninja

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    This is not an isolated issue - if you import TakaraTomy TFs, S.H. Figuarts, Macross, Chogokin, anything Japanese, you are feeling the pain! I felt that, rather than discuss and illustrate these issues the various threads, it was important to get this out in the open. Obviously, with the caveat that this does not get political.

    The current exchange rate, approximately, is $1 USD equals ¥85. It's not great, not remotely. Many of you will remember the good old days where a dollar could get you 100 yen, maybe even 130.

    [​IMG]

    We are unfortunately at the worst slump in the exchange rate since last November. But there are other factors that exacerbate the issue.

    1. Our Collecting Habits - Until recently, Transformers collecting has been in a huge slump. Nothing to hunt on the shelves at retail is very boring for collecting. That means some of us looked at other toylines to sate our needs. And some of us unfortunately looked at awesome Japanese stuff.

    Others, like myself, were always collecting something Japanese, which didn't help anyway.

    2. PayPal - This one's harder to escape, especially if using HLJ, Yokatta, or AmiAmi. PayPal doesn't merely use the market exchange rate for prices. Ohhh nooooooo, that would be too simple! Instead, PayPal charges an additional 2.5% on any transactions requiring currency exchange. Even if you aren't footing the bill for a PayPal fee, you're paying this without even knowing it.

    PayPal's current exchange rate is $1 USD equals ¥83.

    3. MORE, COOLER Stuff - A lot of adult collectible toylines exist in Japan. Most of them are not brand-new lines, and others (S.H. Figuarts, Super Robot Chogokin, Robot Damashii) are evolutions of previous lines. The fact of the matter is that these lines are getting better and better. Better engineering, modifications and revamps of older designs, and new character choices that haven't been visited before are all great things! But they also mean a broader appeal and customer base than any one toyline may have had five or ten years ago. Which leads right back to point one.

    4. The Internet - Obviously forums like ours wouldn't exist without it, but importing from Japan has always been possible. It's the internet that's made this cheaper and easier than ever, too. Yet we've had stores like BBTS and the additional services of eBay for some time now.

    In this case, it's the recent influx of Japanese retailers and middlemen services that is more often doing us in. When you can get something shipped to you from Japan for the same cost or less than a domestic store's retail price, that's going to create appeal. The Japanese took a while, but more and more often they notice. Stores like Hobby Search and AmiAmi swooped in with prices that could undercut older standbys like HLJ and have our attention and our wallets. Word of mouth turned the small eBay operation of EX_Japan into Yokatta Shopping.

    -------------

    So... yeah. Most of this is probably nothing new to you, but there's always somebody not in the know and I figured having some hard data on the exchange rate would be quite helpful. Please feel free to resume complaining now. :lol 
     
  2. Matrix Soul

    Matrix Soul Skull 4 reporting in!

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    Man, that chart does not look good at all!
     
  3. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    That chart doesn't look so good for us.
     
  4. bigkid24

    bigkid24 Well-Known Member

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    There's only a few credit cards that will not charge you a foreign currency transaction fee. In most cases, cards, banks, and paypal add about 3%-5% to the exchange rate. So really if you're paying in a foreign currency you not getting the pure market rate.
     
  5. Mr. Sparklebot

    Mr. Sparklebot 'Til All Are Juan

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    This is why I can't buy nice things. Nice Japanese things.

    Sure there's a hobby store where I can buy my Gundams locally and not have to pay shipping, but they're still kinda overpriced, IMO.
     
  6. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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    Urgh. It doesn't look like it has any intention of getting better, does it?
     
  7. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    Nope, it does not.
     
  8. Cory Bauer

    Cory Bauer Well-Known Member

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    Because you never come right out and say it, is your point that the exchange rate is the reason that importing a masterpiece figure costs $140-$200 when it used to cost $100?
     
  9. Chosen

    Chosen Space Ninja

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    I have no "point" other than stating just how expensive it is to import from Japan right now, as it was getting brought up in several threads, as well as my input on why it's hurting many collectors here especially hard.

    I don't pay attention to Masterpiece prices and haven't owned one in years. That's dependent on Japanese retail price, not just the exchange rate, and I don't know how much any of them originally cost.
     
  10. soundwaveCA

    soundwaveCA Veteran

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    Phhhht, you guys are lucky 1 CDN dollar is only ¥79 right now :p 
     
  11. rizuan76

    rizuan76 Banned

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    Well I feel the pain & generally empathize with the overall sentiments here.

    For me the exchange rate is arnd $1 Sing dollar to ¥63 thereabouts.

    The only consolation here is, I seldom do much online ordering 'coz most of the Jap-related stuf are easily available in my area but still.... :redface2: 
     
  12. bouncing boy77

    bouncing boy77 Syntax Error

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    tell me about it. ever since ordering stuff from japan from last year, it has really gone from bad to worse.
     
  13. cobra zartan

    cobra zartan Think's He's a Detective.

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    Pretty much have stopped looking at yahoojp auctions due to the poor yen, I used to check yahoojp twice a day everyday :( 
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    That has a bit of factor in the prices. The other is that the Japanese price has gone up on the Masterpiece toys as well.
     
  15. Squee

    Squee Well-Known Member

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    You gotta buy from Singapore if you can! 1US dollar = 1.3SGD!
     
  16. flywheels

    flywheels Decepticon Assault Team Veteran

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    I remember the gold old days when I could snag some very nice Japanese TFs off of Yahoo! Japan Auctions via Rinkya for cheap. Rates were as high as 130 yen = $1 as you mentioned. I think the last good deals I got before the rates dropped into the toilet was a MISB Leozack for $70, MIB Sonic Bomber for $100 and a MIB Dinoforce Goryu for $65...and these prices included Rinkya's fees!

    I rarely import anymore and if I do I just use BBTS, TF Source, Captured Prey or Bodhar's services. I just can't afford it much anymore.

    On a related note however I just had a proxy service buy a MOTU Classics figure for me that is headed to Japan!
     
  17. teruo kaiba

    teruo kaiba Made In Japan

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    Yup the rising Yen actually made me change my vacation plan this year. Normally I go back to Japan every year or two, but not this year. We did Europe instead (can't beat the exchange rate on the euro) but was greatly saddened by not being able to buy toys on vacation. :cry 

    Back in 2007 the JPY to CAD was about 120 Yen per $1
    Back in 2008 the JPY to CAD was about 100 Yen per $1
    Now it's about 80 Yen per $1

    That's a considerable decrease in purchasing power and the notion of taking the exact same vacation staying in the same hotels but costing us an additional $3,000 just wasn't appealing.
     
  18. delta7890

    delta7890 Well-Known Member

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  19. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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    :cry 

    I'm going to have a bill from amiami in like ... five days :( 
     
  20. Rewind

    Rewind Be Kind TFW2005 Supporter

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    Damn and blast. I might just have to cancel my preorders for the time being, or at least some of them. Maybe if I explain to AmiAmi that it's due to the decline of the American Shitbux (my new term for the dollar) they'll understand and not blacklist me. -_-
     

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