Friday, April 22 2011

Dear Amazon Japan,

Remind me not to order anything else until things stabilize enough over there for shipping costs to come back down. Ow, my aching wallet.

Also, WTF with the limited edition of the Dream Morning Musume album? It was never up for pre-order, and on release day, by the time I finished getting through the checkout process, it was out of stock and only available through Marketplace dealers who won’t ship to me.

[Update: my order was split into two shipments, with 6 items coming from Osaka and the other 24 from Tokyo. They managed to reach Hong Kong two minutes apart, departing four hours later for San Francisco. I figure I’ll see them Tuesday morning. Annoyingly, the limited-edition DoriMusu album is once again in stock and orderable, grrr. I didn’t want to risk it suddenly disappearing again, so I quickly finished the order and had it sent alone. Ouch.

I understand that you can’t treat limited-edition items as normal back-orders, but they frequently don’t even handle pre-orders well. My suspicion is that the problem is a flaky distribution chain that isn’t reliably delivering the quantity that Amazon orders, and not just for limited editions. Note that this is not a “big quake” issue. I’ve been seeing it for quite a while, so I think Japan’s well-padded and obsolete distribution system is reacting badly to Amazon’s success, and this is similar to the legal obstacles that keep them from offering deeper discounts.]

[4/25 3pm update: DHL delivered them today. So while the price was painful, the service was excellent.]