"USED MAKEUP, EWWWWW!"
I have feelings about used makeup. I conduct blog sales and also buy every once in a while from them so obviously I'm fine with used makeup. I wouldn't buy used mascara or anything, but things easily disinfected pose no serious icks for me. I often buy from the blog sales of people I know (from blogging or from makeup board communities).
But there's used makeup and then there's USED makeup. These old SUQQU quads are many years old, so though you find things every once in a while that's brand new and in original packaging, most of the times they come lightly used or even obliterated and gross beyond repair. Like so:
|LIKE EWWWWW... This is my First Sakuragi. I have a second better one.|
"That's not ENGLISH (or other native language) at all! How do I buy this stuff?"
That out of the way, I've bought majority of my old items on Yahoo Auctions Japan. There isn't an eBay. Yahoo Auctions Japan is the giant equivalent auction site. Just like eBay, people list things to sell and buyers bid and things get sold at the highest price or get sold if there is a Buy it Now option.
Yahoo Auctions Japan isn't a site I can use on my own. I don't read or know Japanese and the site is not navigable for a foreigner. Much of the payment is done bank transfer and I can barely figure out how to transfer money to a person in the US from a US bank. I've heard that most sellers will not do business with an international buyer, but I couldn't confirm since I can't even communicate with sellers.
"Buyer Proxy Services"
In digging around, by which I mean cranking up the good ol' search engine, I found there are services that you can use to bid for you and then forward the goods on to you. I've only used this one service Jauce. Please note, I am not affiliated and can't vouch for them in any way. I can only share what I experienced. Joining the site is free, giving your mailing information. (Zenmarket is another option, but I haven't tried it. It seems like their selling point is that they are less expensive to use than Jauce.)
Jauce can be navigated in English, French and Russian. And the item descriptions can be translated into all the Google Translate languages.
Based on your email preference settings, you get notifications of successful bids and outbids, as well as notification when goods are delivered to Jauce's facilities.
Once goods are delivered to Jauce, you have the options to having shipped to you in the original packaging the seller shipped, or unpacked and then repackaged together. I've always used the second method because I would buy several items and the consolidate into one more efficient packed box.
Jauce does a very good job individually bubble wrapping each item with this option and then securely packaged into a cardboard box.
You can pick among several shipping options (I think I always use EMS, as I do for most other things I order from Japan).
"Crap! HOW much money for this service?!"
The fees. They are real. And they are plenty.
- Funding fee (transfer money into your Jauce account) = 3.9% + 40JPY (variable fee)
- Item Transaction fee = 800 JPY + 8% (if you win another auction with 24 hours of first one, then the fee for next transaction is 400 JPY + 8%) (variable fee)
- Banking fee per transaction = 300 JPY
- Domestic Mail (from Seller to Jauce) = depends on what the seller charges (variable fee)
- International Delivery Fee = depends on service you select and how big/heavy your box(es) are (variable fee)
So theoretically, if I win (I winnnn at liiiiiife!) an item for 5,000 JPY here's what a potential amount of fees could look like. First lets say I transferred 10,000 JPY from PayPal to Jauce so I can bid on stuff. I've already then paid 390 + 40 JPY = 430 to transfer funds (1).
5,000 JPY (price of winning bid)
+ 800 + 400 = 1200 JPY (2) Item transaction fee
+ 300 JPY (3) Banking fee
+ 200 JPY (4) this seller charged this for domestic mail
+ 2220 JPY (5) international delivery fee for a 900g EMS shipping option
= 8920 JPY TOTAL
That's a LOT of fees.
"Well, THAT was a (bad) surprise..."
Just like eBay, just like real life, there are unsavory sellers out there. I haven't disputed anything because I don't want the hassle of disputing with someone abroad. And I'm not sure Jauce will do anything on your behalf. Just like my Sakuragi looked like a mouse had been nibbling on the pans, there's totally a reasonable chance you'd get some crap coming to you.
- Very carefully read the product description and condition. Photos are very important, but those can be posed to make the usage look better than they are. In the detailed description, if the seller states "about 10% left," they are serious.
- READ carefully! I saw that the product description header won't translate automatically into English. After cutting and pasting text directly into Google Translate, I saw what looked like the SUQQU S brush (!!!) was actually an overpriced SUQQU S Eye Brow brush.
- Jauce will not mark "Gift" or "Free sample" or "No Value" on the customs forms. Be fully aware of your country's import regulations and duty rates.
- These fees add the hell up. Also remember that certain sellers are actually shops and you will need to pay an incremental tax on your product.
- Jauce has a time limit (60 days) to transfer unused funds back to your PayPal account. Don't forget about your money hanging out there!
Good luck and happy wabbit hunting! If you've used other methods for tracking old and discontinued products do share with me and every one in the comments!