This isn’t really a guide to buy manga but just some ways cheap bastards like me get my healthy dose of manga. Just so you know, this shouldn’t be taken too seriously because even I don’t follow some of points listed. And they won’t save you money because you’ll still be spending a healthy dose on manga.
Work, work, work and work. Enough said. Part time, full time, quarter time. Anything that brings you moolah is good to go. Just don’t whore yourself out, all right?
If you’re living off your parents, like me, cut cost at other areas. Pack food with you to school and save your pocket money.
Don’t waste money on designers garbs or other fashionable items like bags, guilty as charged, or make up. If you need make up, sign up to your favourite brand and wait patiently for sales.
Speaking of cutting cost, if you’re living on your own, try not to live off instant noodles. It’s because the cost for a packet or a bowl of instant noodle is roughly the same as cooking on your own and they’re not filling at all. Live off bread and water if you have to.
Buy Japanese Yen when your country’s currency is stronger than them. Keep buying until you have enough to spend in Japan! Remember, economy crisis happens almost every 10 years! So plan ahead.
Learn how to invest in stocks or leech off your dad’s stock buying experience. :) *pokes kinky*
Stocks too risky for you? Never mind. Open up a fix deposit in the bank and watch your savings grow. It’s way faster than savings and you will not touch the money there until the set amount of time. Or so says mummy…
Study really hard to ace a national exam if you know there are some prizes to be won (money) in your parent’s company.
Finally, be Chinese or any race/nationality that you’re able to receive money during festive seasons. What, how did you think I bought so much manga when I was a kid? Red packets FTW!
Do not follow fandom too closely because you’ll end up buying merchandises, DVD, OST CD, drama CD, colouring books, desserts made out of anime characters and what not.
Do read raws or scanlation before buying, or you’ll regret spending money on a book you’ll eventually hate.
Make a wishlist. In fact, prioritise the list. Usually, the ones you really want to read goes at the top, but stop. That’s not going to make you spend less. Instead, go for ones that are going to be worth the money spent first. Keep long series aside till you find someplace selling in bulks.
Which comes to our next point, try not to pre-order manga. Be patient, there’ll be used books one day.
When buying directly from Japan, make sure you have 25 books and above if you’re using EMS or Fedex. The more you buy, the cheaper the shipping is per book. In fact, if you buy 15kg worth of books, using Fedex to ship is actually cheaper than SAL per book. :D
Another thing to look out for is incentives and coupons. I love getting points when buying books because all those points will end up being used as discounts. This is the very reason why I’m using Bk1. other than having various ways to ship books to me :D
If you’re buying artbook, great! You know why? You’ll spend roughly about $10~15 less if you buy from Japanese online store and have them ship it over along with 20+ manga with Fedex.
Compare prices everywhere. Check Kinokuniya, Amazon.co.jp and Yesasia to compare the price.
Subscribe to local bookstores or manga cafe site and what not. Maybe one day they’ll close and have clearance sale.
If you’re hardcore enough and have been keeping wishlist, plan a trip to Japan once in a year or two with an empty luggage. Or even better, the next point.
Make friends with people who are studying or planning to study Japanese because maybe one day they’ll have to study a year or two in Japan. That’s when you should abuse them. If your friends don’t mind having to receive your manga parcel that is…
When planning for an international flight across the globe, make sure to transit at Japan for 10 hours or more. Actually 8 hours is more than enough but you’ll never know when you’ll miss the train back to the airport, or when you’ll have to talk your way out to get the custom to let you through. The best airport to stop at is Osaka’s Kansai Airport because the rail system in Osaka isn’t sad headache inducing like Tokyo’s spider webs.
If you’re desperate enough, then make friends with the Japanese and have them stalk Yahoo Auction for bulks manga. The price of a manga can go down to as low as 50yen. :’D
If you’re planning to study or work in US, look no further than New York or Los Angeles because these cities have the godly Bookoff! So if Japan’s too far for you, then you can always head over to Bookoff stores in US.
Look out for used books on the internet. Always check Ebay and JapanGarageSales for cheap and used books.
Buying Japanese manga is a craft of its own. It needs years of patience to nurture the skills to spend less when buying. Well, more like all you need is patience and nagging skills to get your parents to send you to Japan for “sight-seeing”. Thus, go forth and multiply thy manga!
PS: Yes, I’m bored out of my mind and this poor blog’s been missing some LOL worthy post for a long time. Hope you enjoyed this TL;dr piece of crap advise!
ETA: No! I don’t abuse my friends that way. They don’t even know I’m this fanatic about manga :’D