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About Shipping

About Shipping

What are the different shipping methods?

There are few different possible shipping methods that a Friend can use, but one thing that they all have in common is that they will be 1) initially sent via Japan Post and 2) include insurance and a tracking number.
You can estimate the shipping costs for any of the below methods by using the following link: http://www.post.japanpost.jp/cgi-charge/index.php?lang=_en

Japan Post EMS

+ Very fast

+ Large size / weight limits

+ Includes a tracking number and insurance as standard

- Most expensive method

EMS stands for Express Mail Service and is the fastest way to send items internationally.

Japan Post International ePacket

+ Very reasonable costs

+ Includes tracking number and insurance as standard

+ Faster than economy airmail

- Has a weight and size limit (up to 90 cm and 2 kg)

- Takes longer to arrive compared to EMS

- Requires the Friend to create and print out the label at home

- Can only be insured for up to 6,000 yen

International ePacket is a relatively new service that is much cheaper than EMS but takes longer to arrive. The sender is required to create and print the label at home and place it into a special plastic pouch which they must order online before sending the package. The sender cannot get these pouches from a post office, and they cannot fill out the label by hand. This means that there may be some Friends who prefer to send items via a different method instead.

  • The price of shipping depends on the weight of the package and the destination.
  • Click here to find out more about ePacket, including size/weight limits, prices and delivery times: http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/service/epacket_en.html
  • Anything that exceeds the limits will be sent via EMS or regular air mail.
  • The delivery time depends on many factors, such as the location of the Friend in Japan, the country of destination, whether or not you live in a remote area and whether or not the items get inspected by customs after landing in your country
  • ePacket includes insurance of up to 6,000 yen. If the item you buy is worth much more than this, the Friend may decide to use a different method.
  • Items shipped via ePacket do not require a signature on delivery. If the package is small enough to fit in your postbox / mailbox, it will be marked as delivered.
  • Items can be tracked via the following page: http://tracking.post.japanpost.jp/services/sp/srv/search/?locale=en
Japan Post International ePacket Light

+ Very reasonable costs and cheaper than ePacket

+ Includes tracking number

+ Faster than economy airmail

- Has a weight and size limit

- Takes longer to arrive compared to regular ePacket

- Requires the Friend to create and print out the label at home

- Does not come with an insurance

International ePacket light is the same as ePacket, but costs a little less in exchange for a slightly longer shipping time.

  • The price of the shipping depends on the weight of the package and the destination.
  • Click here to find out more about International ePacket Light, including size/weight limits, prices and delivery times: https://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/service/epacketlight_en.html
  • The delivery time depends on many factors, such as the location of the Friend in Japan, the country of destination, whether or not you live in a remote area and whether or not the items get inspected by customs after landing in your country
  • Items shipped via ePacket Light do not require a signature on delivery. If the package is small enough to fit in your postbox / mailbox, it will be marked as delivered.
  • Items can be tracked via the following page: http://tracking.post.japanpost.jp/services/sp/srv/search/?locale=en
Japan Post - Other

+ Does not require the Friend to create and print the label at home

+ Can be cheaper than other methods (not in all cases)

- Tracking and insurance has to be added on separately

- Depending on the method, the item may take a while to arrive

This means that the Friend will send the package using a different shipping method.

  • This method will usually be SAL (economy airmail) plus an additional charge to insure the package and add a tracking number to it. There are also cases where the destination country cannot handle certain shipping methods, and the Friend will use an applicable shipping method.
  • Items can be tracked via the following page: http://tracking.post.japanpost.jp/services/sp/srv/search/?locale=en

If you want the Friend to use a specific shipping method, please make sure you mention it in your description.

Please DO NOT request that your item be sent without tracking number. This is to protect both you and the Friend in Japan.

What are the estimated shipping rates for my country?

Estimated prices vary widely depending on both the size/weight of the item and the shipping method. You can estimate the shipping rates by inserting the required information into this form http://www.post.japanpost.jp/cgi-charge/index.php?lang=_en

What are the estimated shipping times for my country?

You can look up the estimated shipping times by inserting required information into this form http://www.post.japanpost.jp/cgi-charge/index.php?lang=_en.

How long does the buyer have to ship my requested items?

The buyer can choose a range of days which will be shown in the offer you receive. Please note that you may receive offers including items which can only be pre-ordered, meaning you will also have to wait for the item to be released as well as for the Friend to ship the item to you. Please also be aware that once preorders have been made it is usually not possible for the Friend to alter or cancel their order. Please be mindful of this.
Some items offered by your Friends in Japan are items that they found on online stores or marketplaces (including flea market sites) etc. Therefore it takes time for the item to be delivered to the Friend's home in order for them to ship it to you and provide you a tracking number.

Can I track my order?

Each order you make on Otsukai will include a tracking number provided by the Friend. You can track this number here: http://tracking.post.japanpost.jp/services/sp/srv/search/?locale=en
(Please also note that you may be able to enter the tracking number into the postal service of your own country. In some cases, you will not be able to do this until the item has landed in your country.)

I entered the tracking number into the tracking service, but it says the tracking number is not found

It may take a few hours before the status of the item will display on the tracking website, so if you enter the tracking number and nothing is displayed, we suggest checking again in 24 hours. If you still find that nothing is displayed, please create a support ticket here.

My order hasn’t arrived yet.

Please be patient. First try to track the order if you received a tracking number from the sender. Depending on season and country your parcel might need a little bit longer to arrive. If your package is coming via ePacket Light or SAL (economy airmail), it is sometimes the case that the postal service hasn't yet found some free space on an airplane to ship your package.
It could also be that your parcel is being held back by customs for investigations.

What does ‘Package was refused by addressee’ on the tracking website mean?

We have had a case where a local mail carrier ignored the written postal code and instead sent the package to a different address with the same street name. Using the tracking number, we found that the 'Package was refused by addressee'. This means that you or someone else has refused to accept the package and therefore the package will be returned to the sender. If by accident someone other than you has refused to accept the package, then please contact your local post office immediately. You might be able to stop your items from being returned.