Top 5 Online Bargain Stores With Tips on How to Shop!
One of the most important things being a part of this fandom is, you have to learn how to shop! Not many people can deny that the highlight of most cons is the dealer’s room. That is definitely where the magic happens. It’s an adventure in itself with the legacy of old school anime merchandise being scattered amongst current products just waiting to be stumbled upon. However, more times than not, merchandise can become pretty pricey. If you’re still a grade school student there’s a good chance gift giving holidays come too far and are too few. Therefore, I am here to present a list of my top online bargain shops and tips on shopping before, after, and during the con.
Before buying anything, it’s always good to do research on store prices. If it’s online be sure to scour reviews first. While sites like Amazon are trusted, not every seller should be. For independent online shops, check their legitimacy by a simple Google search which will link you to sites like resellerratings.com.
When you settle on a product, check the reviews for that item not just the seller this time. The most important information to look for in a review is the accuracy between the received product, the online description (pictures are a must!), and seller communication. When buying a product ensure to know how it will be shipped and the average time it takes to arrive. Shipping costs can be just as expensive as the product so take that into account when choosing where to buy your merchandise.
When you go to a con it’s always good to have a game plan on what to buy, otherwise being swept away in the grandeur of things will be quite easy. Once you know what you want it’s better to look online and around your area to get an idea of pricing, so while at the convention you can compare prices and determine what is better bang for your buck. Deep research is what has brought me back to my favorite online bargain stores over and over!
Amazon is a catch when buying manga and some anime. This is a place where buying ‘Like New’ items can be just as cheap and well taken care of than ‘New’ items. Again, watch out for shipping prices that might just raise the amount of money spent.
YesAsia is great for finding your favorite J-Pop, J-rock, K-pop and DVDs without much hassle. When buying DVDs from YesAsia make sure it is in your region code or else you will not be able to watch it if you don’t have a region free system to play it on. My tip to shopping on YesAsia is to compare prices between the different Asian versions offered. Most DVDs will say Taiwanese Ver., Japan Ver., etc. right next to the title and sometimes the price will change with each version. Also be sure it comes with subtitles or dubs that are in your language.
AliExpress is considered the Asian eBay. I recommend using this for figurines, especially for the Sailor Moon fans out there. There is customer protection which protects you from any scammers. If sellers do not ship your order, if you do not receive you item, etc. you are protected. There are sellers who are not under the customer protection system so use caution if you decide to buy from them.
eBay is probably the most well-known site besides Amazon. Along with AliExpress the price of anime figurines on this site is almost unbeatable. I also highly recommend this site for anyone looking to buy Disney DVDs that have been put in the vault and older anime that have been ridiculously priced on Amazon (shame on you!).
RightStuf is a well-known online anime shop; it’s basically the Target of anime goods. Many times they will have clearance items and great sales, they also send out a catalog filled with new, old, and upcoming titles. Their pricing can be a little high if you’re on a budget, but their quality is excellent!
While this concludes my list for now, I am looking into more online shops that I feel may be hidden gems although looking sketchy- yes I live dangerously. If there are any suggested sites or if you felt like something was left out please leave it in the comment section below!
*BananaDalgiuyu is a contributing writer for the Anime Complexium*