Amazon Japan Trick: How to Import Manga for Super Cheap

Amazon Japan can be a little intimidating for importing Japanese products, but it’s also has some of the best deals on books and manga. On top of that, recent decrease in its international shipping costs means that you can get a packaged shipped anywhere in the world faster and cheaper than ever. But did you know that you can get virtually any number of Japanese-language manga shipped for just $10.50? I thought it was too good to be true, but I can confirm that it works. The secret is buying manga lots!

Ten volumes of The Rose of Versailles and a magazine for only $54.42 shipped! (and it arrived in two business days!)

So, how can you get in on this awesome deal? First and foremost, head to Amazon Japan‘s website. Even though almost everything is in Japanese, the layout is virtually the same as every other version of Amazon, so it should be relatively easy to navigate.

It’s worth noting that if you click the “in English” link at the top of the page, you’ll be directed to a page with items in English. When you enter a search in Japanese, the site reverts to the Japanese version, so I’d advise waiting to switch to English until later if necessary.

The first step toward finding all the sweet manga lots available on Amazon Japan is typing 漫画全巻セット (manga zenkan setto) in the search bar at the top. If you don’t know how to use a Japanese keyboard, just copy and paste the text I provided, then click the grey search button at the right.

Now you should see results for manga sets, but unfortunately there may be some that can’t be shipped outside of Japan (usually used items). Never fear – just check the above option at the bottom of the list on the left, and the results will only be populated by items that can be shipped internationally!

Next comes the fun part – browse through the manga lots available and add your desired series to your shopping cart. The lots usually contain a full series, or every currently available volume of an ongoing series, so you don’t need to worry about random volumes being missing.

As with all Amazon sites, that big yellow button will add the item to your cart. I forgot to include it in the screenshot here, but on specific item listings there will be an option directly above this box that reads “Would you like to see this page in English? Click here.” Just click that and some of the more important things will appear in English. Most importantly, you can have the whole checkout process displayed in English, so it’s super easy!

If you have a default shipping address registered to your account (note: I use my US account on the Japanese site, so I assume all Amazon accounts are compatible) and you’ve mistakenly stumbled upon an item that can’t be shipped to you, Amazon will make it very clear under the stock availability section. A general rule of thumb is that all new books can be shipped internationally, but video games, toys, and beauty products can not.

UPDATE: It’s come to my attention that Amazon Japan and Amazon US accounts may not actually be linked, but rather that my details for both happen to be the same. If Amazon Japan won’t let you log in, don’t worry, making a new account is very simple and should only take a couple minutes. Sorry for the confusion!

Once you’ve found the manga lot you want to purchase, it’s finally the moment of truth! I won’t be explaining how the checkout process works since it’s pretty standard and can be done in English, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Most importantly, this is where the major secret of these cheap manga lots is revealed – Amazon Japan calculates shipping based on the number of individual items in your cart, not the weight! So, no matter how many manga are in the lot, because they were listed as one item, you only have to pay shipping for one item! Above is an example of the total cost to ship a manga lot to Australia. Amazon Japan uses DHL, which arrives in my house an unbelievable two days after leaving the warehouse in Japan! Shipping prices and times may vary slightly depending on where you live, but I can confirm that price and shipping time is very similar for the United States.

My friend @EarlofFujoshi got a whopping 36 volumes of Yowamushi Pedal!

So there you have it! Go forth, and purchase mountains of manga! The same ordering process works if you want to purchase single issues or other items from Amazon Japan, but just be aware of how the shipping scales as you add items to your cart.

Finally, if you’re looking for a specific series and don’t know the Japanese title, feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.

  • Definitely doing this soon! Need more reading material to keep me motivated with my JP studies ;u;

  • Lots are definitely the way to go most of the time whether from another country or just the U.S.

  • Rowan Carmichael

    *note to self, read The Rose of Versailles*

  • khursten

    Crap. I didn’t know this bit of the 1 item listing. WOW. THAT IS AN AWESOME DEAL! (but how I wish I had shelfspace to do this! When I have a job! I swear!)

  • apricotsushi

    You should! I’m finally getting to it because of background I need for my thesis, haha

  • apricotsushi

    Don’t get sucked in like me!!

  • Rowan Carmichael

    Yeah, honestly it was probably relevant to my honours one since I referenced it…

  • Toni Nguyen

    But, The mangas are in Japanese text right? Aghhh how would I read it ;-;

  • Inquiry

    Yeah, is there a way to solve that problem, are there any manga on the japan amazon that have the translated versions?

  • apricotsushi

    Yes, they’re all in Japanese. Amazon Japan does sell English manga too, but after doing a quick search it doesn’t seem like they sell many in lots. This is more for if you’d like to import manga in Japanese 🙂

  • Ange

    Oh my God thank you so much for this!!!!! I just bought a Vampire Knight full set for a total of $42 *cries*. You are so great!!!! (T_T)/

    • apricotsushi

      I’m glad I could help! It’s so cheap, I almost thought it was a mistake the first time XD

      • Ange

        Haha, it is sure perfect! How did you discover this?! Are you the pioneer?

        • apricotsushi

          A friend on Twitter mentioned they tried it, so I thought I’d give it a shot! So no, I’m certainly not the first person to know about it!

          • Ange

            Haha that’s great. Thanks again for sharing with us 🙂

  • Amy

    You are my manga life saviour!

    I searched for one particular manga. It has been licensed so no online scanlation, but it took too long for the US publisher to publish one volume. The original manga was just finished several months ago on the 9th volume, but the English was still stuck on the 4th volume since three years ago ;_;
    So, I decide to buy the Japanese manga, but rarely shown on Amazon or ebay. And I stumbled upon this glorious post of yours, and I can finally getting my babies!

    Thank you so so much for sharing this <3

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂

  • Nisa Habibi

    This is actually great! I’ve been scrambling for so long trying to find a complete set of the manga kimi wa pet (aka Tramps like us) on sites like Amazon and eBay but they are all upwards to 250 dollars and I can’t really afford that right now so I was happy when I found you’re post and tried it out on Amazon Japan . When I did it was singnificantly less expensive which is great… Except for one problem. They were all in Japanese but I can’t read Japanese. They did carry a few volumes in English however it was just as expensive as over here. Do you know any solution or advice on how to buy manga in lots for cheap that are in English?

    • Hi there! Sorry, but this trick only works for manga that are in Japanese due to the way Amazon Japan sells them. I’m unaware of any similar way to get cheap manga in English, and since Tramps Like Us is long out of print, there probably aren’t many options to get the complete series >_<

      • Nisa Habibi

        Hmmm… I see I guess I’m out of luck. Thank you anyways though! ^_^

  • Nishi

    You can also buy chaepar by buy used Sets. When you looking for Used Manga who also send per amazon. So you can reallymake good deals. Ive got a few days ago Oh my Goddes 1-48 for 31 euro+10 euro shiiping total ist was 41 euro for 48 volumes. The condition was like new.

  • AAA this is AMAZING! I think I’ll save up some money so I can buy 17 volumes of ハイキュー!!. Too bad the customs and taxes in my country makes it a tad more expensive, but still cheaper than buying them individually! Thank you <3

    • I’m so glad it was helpful! Have fun with your manga 😀

  • shanadeshana

    Is there an equivalent search term for light novels? Thanks for this!

    • Yup! ライトノベル 全巻セット and ライトノベル セット both turn up lots of results, and will give you the same cheap shipping as with manga lots. Happy reading!

      • shanadeshana

        Thanks! Just found of my favorite series

  • JSharpie

    Do you know a place where you can sell imported manga? Cause I have a bunch I want to get rid of. BookOff is too far away, Takes too long for Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist since people seem to only want one at a time.

    • Unfortunately you’ve listed all of my suggestions! I’ve personally had luck selling manga in lots on eBay, though. You can also set auctions for as short as one day, I think. Good luck!

    • Retarded Chan

      hi can i buy from u?

  • Muuus

    Just wanted to know, when are you asked to pay for the order ? I receive a mail saying ‘Thank you for shopping with us. Your seller has received your order.’ after cheking out, I gave my cb number, date, and name, but wasn’t asked for the 3 digit code at the back, so I guess I have not paid anything yet.

    • Muuus

      Nevermind, seems like the 3 digit code is a french thing, guess I don’t need it on amazon.co.jp

  • Diego Lorence

    Sorry, I have a Question about ベルサイユのばら。 Does it has Furigana? And most important, is it hard to read? My level is somewhere between N5 and N4. I’m currently reading Card Captor Sakura (in Japanese) and I’m not facing many problems. At least not as much as some Shonen Jump manga.

    • No need to be sorry! ベルサイユのばら does have furigana. As for difficulty level, I think it’s a bit harder than something like CCS because it has a lot of historical references to names, places and events that might be harder to keep track of than something that takes place in the modern day. But it shouldn’t be too difficult! Good luck!

      • Diego Lorence

        Thank you, I appreciate you time. I was able to check the price at Amazon and despite that Mexican Peso has lost so much of its value, It’s still worth the price… Also, I checked some scans. It seems a bit harder than CCS but also it feels way satisfactory, too.
        Anyway, as soon as I read it I’ll let you know how things went.

        • Awesome!! I hope you enjoy reading it!

  • Brénton Williams

    How do i Figure out the japanese name of a manga

    • The easiest way would be to Google the English title, and then find the Wikipedia page. Wikipedia often lists the Japanese title at the beginning of the article.

  • Andee

    Do you know if they make any special sale on holidays? 😮