International Package Forwarding Services

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—-Table of contents—-
1. What’s a forwarding service for individuals?

2. What kind of services do the forwarders offer?
3. Why should you try the forwarding service?
4. Restricted items

shop Japanese products

Writer
 Japanese and lives in Tokyo, Japan
in her 30s
loves made in Japan products
 loves cosmetics floors at department stores


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What’s a forwarding service for individuals?

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Have you ever used a forwarding service for individuals? It is a service that ships packages from one country to another country.

The service is very useful when you need someone to forward a package from other countries to your home.

For instance, you can exploit the service when you purchase something on a foreign country’s online shop which does not ship internationally.

Flow of shopping

  1. You shop on a Japanese e-commerce website using a shipping address (= forwarder’s warehouse in Japan) provided by the forwarder
  2. What you bought will be delivered to the forwarder’s warehouse in Japan
  3. You arrange a delivery on the forwarder’s website
  4. The forwarder ships your package to your home which is outside of Japan

The service allows you to shop on foreign countries’ online shopping sites and e-commerce websites, and it broadens your shopping options.

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What kind of services do the forwarders offer?

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Almost all the forwarders provide the following services:

  • giving you a delivering address (= the address of forwarder’s warehouse in Japan + your unique identifying number)
  • receiving what you bought on behalf of you in its warehouse
  • delivering your package to your home (outside of Japan) following your instructions
  • consolidating several packages into one delivery (= combine & repack your packaged)

Note that consolidating service might not be for free, and it depends on the company.

Please see the following page for comparison among 5 major forwarders: 5 Japan-Based International Shipping Services

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Why should you try the forwarding service?

International Package Forwarding Services
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First, it allows you to shop on online shopping sites in other countries. If the shop you would like to use does not ship internationally, normally you cannot purchase products from your country. But you can shop on the websites by using the forwarding service.

Second, you can purchase whatever you want. Since Japanese e-commerce sites have everything, you can find whatever you want. Products you used to buy during your trip to Japan will be found on e-commerce websites.

One more tip
Now that Rakuten Ichiba, one of the biggest e-commerce websites in Japan, has manufacturers’ official online shops, you can shop from a wide range of options just with a Rakuten account. (You don’t have to open an account and register payment information on each manufacturer’s online shop.)

Please see the following page for further information on Rakuten Ichiba: Rakuten – Japanese Best Shopping Site

It looks very complicated and difficult to import products from other countries by yourself using the forwarding services. But it would be so much fun once you get used to it. I have used forwarding services (by Malltail) several times when I shopped on online shops in the US and Europe, I received my packages without problems.

You might be hesitating to use the services, but I would like to recommend that you give it a try 😀

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Restricted items

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Note that some products are restricted and cannot be shipped from Japan.

Some examples are listed below, but please check whether the product you wish to purchase is allowed to export on the forwarder’s websites linked below.

Perfumes / Colognes/ Eau de toilette /Aftershave / Nail polish / Nail Polish Remover /
Some hair care products (a boxed hair color, hair tonic, hairspray)
Lithium battery / Electronic cigarettes / Wireless earphones with charger
Printer toner cartridges
Engine and Motor oil / Cigarette lighters / Gas lighters

International Package Forwarding Services

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Jewellery / Pearls / Precious metals & stones / Antiques

International Package Forwarding Services

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Credit cards / Concert, sport, art, or theater tickets / Air tickets / Cash 

Airguns
Spray cans / Helium gas

 

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