Buying Manga the Cheezy Way

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.

Getting Capital

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’s and Don’ts

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

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

If you’re buying off an online store, it’s best to pick one that allows you to choose shipping method, not just EMS like

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, 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


9 thoughts on “Buying Manga the Cheezy Way

  1. Nice tips *grin* I don't eat breakfast just to save up some money to buy manga *rotf* I'm vietnamese and I do receive money during lunar new year. I live with my parents and they always nag at me to save the money for my future *rotf* but I always end up spending all of them on manga anyway. Shipping from Japan to my country is damn high (maybe that's the matter of currency), if I buy 10 books, I have to pay the price for 20. It cost about 1 million vnd for 4 printed-in-japan books and spending that amount of money is exactly like an american spends 500$. Manga eats all my money but I don't really care, when I receive my books I feel like heaven *laugh*. You feel the same, right :-) Anyway, I always read your blog before buying books so be sure to produce more manga's review, 'kay :D

  2. O0O! No breakfast!! You're even more hardcore than me. I don't usually skip breakfast but I do skip lunch once in a while :'D Especially when I overslept. My mum kept asking me to save and put my money into fix deposit so I don't touch the money. I bet it's her way of getting me to save and not spend. Well, the interest rate's higher with FD than it is with savings. o/O.M.G.! $500 for 4 books?! :'D Is it time to invest in buying USD now? But meh, USD isn't strong against Japan right now, especially now that stock market's dropping like nobody's business. But I'm buying USD currency from Malaysian Ringgit so I'm losing a lot when buying from Japan too 'cause Malaysian ringgit's more stable than USD. At least for now… :(Yesh, I know what you mean! When the books arrive, it's like Chinese New Year all over again (since I don't celebrate Christmas). :'DAw, I didn't know my reviews were useful. Thanks for reading! I'll try to review more manga, but I think most of the time, I rant about whether the manga has enough sex scenes or not. OTL Next time I should write whether it's worth the money or not. :'D!

  3. This post is so interesting! I can relate to it in so many ways! hahaha…I keep on wishing, please please be weaker, you freaking Yen!But it's useless, at least for now.Btw, I think you once posted something about when you want to send the mangas back to MY, the authorities will confiscate them due to the contents? Are you serious? Can they really do that? Isn't it a breach of privacy?

  4. XD Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. :D I check currency rate almost every week! It's gotten so bad now that Kinokuniya's books raised about $1 ;A;!The thing is, once a parcel enters a country, it's subjected to custom checks for security reasons. They sorta have the authority to do so, but this is also the reason why many people are against some of the things ISA's doing here in US. But when I'm entering US, I'm not allowed to lock my luggage. Even though I'm using the ISA lock D__D…In Malaysia's case, usually if you're not paying custom tax, your parcel will be checked. Even if we paid for it, somehow, it seemed liked someone opened the box we get 'cause the usual seal online bookstore slap right in the middle's cut opened. In worse case, my friend's magazine had some pages torn off. :'D! And it's ecchi stuff, not even BL. o/ Malaysia's a fucked up country, right now it's even worse. I'd rather not rant about politics here 'cause nobody really gives a damn anyway. So, breech of privacy? I doubt our government really care. They even wanted everybody to use some email address they issue for EVERY official/government related work. D:

  5. Huh? Torn pages? Gah! That will surely piss me off! Japanese books are expensive and I worked my ass off just to buy them and they can tear the pages just like that…=.=Ah yeah, I heard about it, Kebijakan Satu Malaysia, yeah? I can only imagine how much money they spend on that. Not sure about how much they took for their own personal usage, though. It's okay, I understand, I live in a very big neighboring country, you know, the archipelago, hahaha…We face the same difficulties, if not even worse, namely corrupt government officials with absolutely zero civil service sense. And as non-native (read, immigrant), I feel rootless. =.=

  6. LOL, that 1Malaysia thing is just crap. I mean, I have friends from different race and I don't need some lame hypocritical slogan to dictate what I do. :D I heard they were trying to spend billions into making a facebook fanpage for our Cuti-cuti Malaysia tourism crap. LOL, someone made a Curi-curi (steal) Malaysia page in retaliation. :'D*nods* Pats, well, at least you guys fight for your rights while we cower behind our blankets and fake ignorance. :'D And the rootless thing, damn, I feel you. :( We're not treated as "pure" Malaysian just because we're not Malay. D_D Fuck it, that's the reasons why youth who went overseas never went back home.

  7. Pingback: » Buying Japanese Books, Manga, Mags with bk1 – Part 1 Where the Lamb Lurks

  8. Red packets FTW!! haha! Those are my saviors when I’m in a pinch. XD

    Anyway, thanks for the advice! I love love love manga and want to collect them and this will surely help me. I recently discovered a local bookstore that sells nice 2nd hand books, not to mention that its only half the original price. The problem is it will be hard to complete a series so I’m thinking that I should start lurking online stores. Oooopsie I’m blabbing again. >_< Thanks again! :D

    • YES! I wish I’m back home collecting them red packets now. >:

      Oh, you should definitely start from second hand stores though? Have you tried looking through LJ yet? Some of the users sells really cheap books. :D

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