Help

About Shipping

About Shipping

What shipping methods are available?

The most common shipping methods used on Otsukai are EMS, DHL, ePacket and ePacket light. With shipments of books and manga, Friends will also sometimes use SAL (printed matters). What all of these have in common is that they have a tracking number.

Please note all shipping times on this page are only an estimate. Actual shipping times may vary.

Please understand that not all shipping methods may be available for your country.

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

+ The fastest shipping method (2-3 working days)

+ Large size / weight limits

+ Tracked and insured up to high values

- 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

+ Tracked and insured

+ Faster than economy airmail

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

- Slower than EMS

- 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 is why ePacket is cheaper than SAL, but the extra steps 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
  • 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

+ Cheaper than ePacket

+ Includes tracking number

- Has a weight and size limit

- Takes longer to arrive than regular ePacket

- Not insured

International ePacket light is the same as regular ePacket but takes a little longer and is uninsured, and is therefore cheaper.
We do not recommend shipping valuable packages with this method, as you will not be entitled to any reimbursement if your package is damaged, lost or stolen.

  • 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

There are a few other shipping methods Friends on Otsukai can use:

  • DHL — a private alternative to EMS that is not managed by Japan Post. An account is required to register parcels with DHL, so some Friends prefer to use EMS instead.
  • SAL (printed matters) — SAL is the same as regular ePacket, but ePacket has a small discount (as customers must make their own labels). When sending books, the SAL printed matters option can be a little cheaper.

If you want the Friend to use a specific shipping method, please make sure you mention it in your Request description or leave a comment saying so.

Please DO NOT request that your item be sent without tracking number. Orders on Otsukai cannot be shipped without a tracking number. This is to protect both you and the Friend.

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 have paid for. You can estimate the shipping rates by using 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 with 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 selects a shipping timeframe which will be shown in the offer you receive.

You will be able to see this in the estimated time until shipping field of the offer. However, please be aware that this is an estimated shipping time and there are cases in which the item is shipped a little later than planned. If more than 3 days have passed since the estimated shipping date, feel free to contact the Otsukai support center if you are worried about the status of your order.

If your item is a preorder or event item, the estimated time until shipping will be set as ‘pre-order’. The Friend can indicate the estimated release/shipping date in the ‘more info’ field of their offer. If they have not indicated a release date, feel free to ask them in a comment.

If your item is taking too long to ship, please see The Friend is taking too long to ship my order.

Can I track my order?

Every order you make on Otsukai will have a tracking number provided by the Friend. You will receive the tracking number in an email when your item has been marked as shipped, and it will also be viewable on your order’s Errand page.
There will be a URL on your Errand page with which you can track the item.
You can also copy and paste the number into the following tracking website: https://www.17track.net/en
Once the item lands in your country, you can also track it via your country’s national postal service.

My tracking number does not work.

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 contact the Otsukai support team.

My package has been returned to the sender

There are some cases where the package may be returned to the Friend in Japan.
If you notice that the tracking number says that your package is being returned to sender and it is still in your country, it is vital that you contact your country’s postal service as soon as possible. If you do this it may be possible to get the package redirected.
If the package has already landed in Japan, or if your country’s postal service cannot help you, please contact the Otsukai support team as soon as possible.

In the case that a package is returned due to you registering an incorrect shipping address to Otsukai, you will be liable to pay the fee to have the item reshipped. You will not be eligible for a refund.
In the case that a package is returned due to the Friend incorrectly inputting your address onto the shipping label, the Friend will be liable to pay the fee to have the item reshipped.
All other instances will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but we urge all users on Otsukai to consider using a shipping method which includes insurance against loss (such as ePacket and EMS). Please see above for more details on each available shipping method.

My order hasn’t arrived yet.

First, try to track your order using the tracking number you received in your shipping notification email, or by clicking on the URL on your Errand page. Depending on your location and the time of year, your parcel might take a 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 has yet to find free space on an airplane to ship your package.

It could also be that your parcel is being held back by customs for investigations.

If there is a problem with the delivery of your package after it has landed in your country, it is important that you try contacting your country’s postal service before you contact the Otsukai support team. We are unable to contact your local postal service on your behalf.

Your patience is greatly appreciated.