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16 January 2005 @ 04:46 pm


I was wondering what Japanese items people have been looking for, but
have been unable to find? Basically, I would like to gage what people
want to make sure our mission fits the needs of the overall community.
I ask because I've felt we, in this community, were always a great
cross-section of various Japanese interests. One specific area I've
been wanting to expand is the Magazine section of ThinkTokyo. However,
there are so many magazines out there it would be a huge investment
(something we don't have) to stock them all. I am wondering what
particular magazines or topics we would like to see sold? However, any
suggestions are welcome, and should not be limited to any constraints.

ThinkTokyo is really new and I want to ensure that our
goals are going in the right direction. To give a taste of our
mission, we want to provide items to people who take Japan seriously,
and not be another "We have wacky hello kitty vibrators and an
abnormous porn selection from those silly Japanese." To put it in less
biting terms, we have a serious interest in exploring and providing
unique Japanese popular and underground culture.

Chad "Cenic" Q.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Merzbow - Ropes in Tears
johnwusherejohnwushere on January 17th, 2005 01:06 am (UTC)
hmm, i don't know if i should really be replying like this because i'm guessing your talking about which magazine title, but i'm really looking for magazines that feature ayumi hamasaki on the cover? thanks a lot for the help, and i'll take a look at your site
ex_megana862 on January 17th, 2005 01:11 am (UTC)
I've always wanted anime songbooks or sheet music. I haven't had much luck using eBay, Froogle, or some of the popular Asian online stores to find any.
the girl with kaleidoscope eyes: atsushi: lipstickil_pleut on January 17th, 2005 01:14 am (UTC)
i think that your best market for magazines would be music magazines, and i'd recommend any/all of the following:

ongaku to hito
r&r newsmaker
uv ultra veat
fool's mate
ai_tenai_ten on January 17th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
It is our own experience that importing for a small business can be very expensive... especially books, which have to carry a high mark-up just to cover shipping. However, if you can find a contact or develop a relationship with a company to obtain `mook` or special issues of magazines without advertising content, designed in a more photo-book style: it can be quite profitable (since most companies importing magazines only import basic subscriptions, special issues are quite rare in the US).

You should also look into expanding into dealing with used goods... as the used-goods market is booming and importation costs make new goods quite expensive after they`re transported overseas. Hiring a few qualified buyers overseas to send you shipments of preowned goods (artbooks, import manga sets, magazine backissues, promo items, ufo plush, etc) in bulk, or even offering trade-in deals to your own customers for donating their own pre-owned items and then re-selling them to other fans for a lower price than retail may also work well.

As far as we know, no foreign company has been able to successfully reproduce the `resale economy` active in Japan... (except perhaps EB in video games).

You shouldn`t try to stock what other companies can stock at far lower prices (at least when you first start)... amazon will always kill the little guys in book sales... and often in domestic DVD... etc. It`s better to find something that you can make a decent profit margin on but that is still somewhat *unique* in the market. Small businesses will never be able to out-price the big ones, we need to fight dirty :)

the girl with kaleidoscope eyes: atsushi: lipstickil_pleut on January 17th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
yes yes yes! used things like old CDs and old magazines and old tour goods are a DEFINITE hot item for such jmusic h0s as myself. XD it's so hard to find some old things from the bands i like, like buck-tick!
(Deleted comment)
the girl with kaleidoscope eyes: atsushi: be afraidil_pleut on January 17th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC)
i almost read your icon as "it hurts in japan". XD
Darling Fascist Bully-Boy: Guitar Wolfbluesummers on January 17th, 2005 02:43 am (UTC)
As your current music reminded me, Japan has a really vibrant noise and experimental tradition that barely gets its surface scratched stateside, and also a strong underground Punk/Hardcore scene. I really don't know if any publications dealing with those exist (or at least I don't know any names) but I'm sure they do, and I'd be interested in seeing them. It might be interesting to see some fanzines, even.

I guess just some music mag alternatives to the popular J-Pop and VK/Rock mags that a lot of sites already offer... Ones that more prominently feature indie J-Rock/VK/Angura-Kei bands that don't get so much exposure would be cool too.
Ceniccenic on January 17th, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
Noise, experimental, and industrial are pretty much all the music we have right now. It has really taken off, but we haven't really advertised much either.
③⑥④⑧①?36481 on January 17th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
There's an indies jrock/visual kei magazine called "cure" and I would just DIE of happiness if someone stocked it who didn't have friggin' 22$ shipping charges for 1 magazine. ><; [only j-xyz.com stocks it. >/]
lulu-chunidoitforlove on January 17th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
actually, jpophouse.com has recently started to carry cure for $16. they've been offering free shipping on orders of $15 or more, but are stopping that. but i don't think they are going to charge a lot for shipping since they are located here in the states. but you'll have to check back often because they sell out quickly. ^_^
sei: 12012//kawauchiancafe on January 17th, 2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
@______@ my friend went to order a copy the day they listed it :O and it sold out!!
kawaiiayu on January 17th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
It would be really cool if you could carry the misc. JPop things. Like Ayumi Hamasaki's AyuPan figurines and merchandise. And I know Morning Musume and Mini Moni have things like that, and Im sure lots of other bands do too. But it makes me mad cuz I easily find Morning Musume toys, but no AyuPans ;.;
神村菊子kikuko_kamimura on January 17th, 2005 03:21 am (UTC)
It would be great, as other people have said, if it would be possible to have a place that stocks Japanese music magazines (see il_pleut's list above, she pretty much has all of them). All the places I've found so far charge really awful prices for them.

Another magazine that might have an amount of interest are the Gothic and Lolita Bibles, as they are more of a 'mook' style and a lot of us j-rock kids are into gothic fashion as well.
(And if there's any way to get money, it's through the j-rock kids--especially if you can stock stuff from old bands like Malice Mizer, Buck-Tick, Boowy...that are impossible to find, or even indies albums of now-popular bands.)
the girl with kaleidoscope eyes: i love buck-tickil_pleut on January 17th, 2005 06:15 am (UTC)
Amarokster blog!placetohide on January 17th, 2005 06:40 am (UTC)
Along with GLBs, FRUiTS style fashion magazines would be popular as well, I think. :)
my cosmos is all over the placeaerocranes on January 17th, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)
Zy magazine, mos def!