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What are the main websites and forums where fans exchange info about where online to buy anime/manga collectibles from Japan (such as trading offers/requests, current auctions, recommended online shops, wish lists)? In particular, for hunting down/notifying about chances to acquire out-of-print merchandise such as for series which have already ended.

When I used to buy anime/manga collectibles made in Japan about 15 years ago, many fans were on email mailing lists (based on subjects such as shoujo anime, or specific series) where members would, from time to time, post links to trading websites and eBay auctions of interest, or share if they had found a reliable shop or proxy buying/bidding service, but I think this sort of ML is not very popular these days. Where is the Go To place for most fans to share info about anime/manga merchandise that is currently for sale? I came across http://myfigurecollection.net/ but I have no idea of whether this is a main site for this kind of interaction or whether there are more popular ones.

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    myfigurecollection.net is certainly one of the big sites for this kind of thing, though not the only one (see also e.g. figinstock.com). But I suspect you can find some discussion of merchandise on most large anime fora. – Logan M Oct 25 '14 at 6:15
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While forums are still great places to find such conversations, mailing lists are bit old in today's age. Personally, I think one of the best forums to browse is MyAnimeList (MAL).

In addition, there are largely three categories of places that anime aficionados frequent when discussing new merchandise to buy (as well as buying it). They are as follows:

  1. Local Stores - Granted, most people do not have the luxury of living in Japan to take advantage of these resources. However, if you do, the best place to find anything anime related in Japan is Akihabara. Of the many I've visited, my personal favorite is the Akiba Culture Zone. Their website is not in English, but it can be found here. Also, here's a picture of the inside:

                     Akiba Culture Zone

  1. Conventions and Events - The next best place to find merchandise is at events that are specifically for the anime/manga you are trying to find merchandise for. In America, common events like this are things like Comic-Con. You should peruse your local listings to see if anything nearby your location interests you.

  2. Online Stores - This is the most common place for anime merchandise to be bought and sold. Here's a list of the best online anime stores, with descriptions:

    • Right Stuf - One of the best sites if you would like to buy actual DVD/BluRay copies of anime or print copies of manga. It's not always the cheapest resource, but it often has the widest selection. In addition, if you time your purchase correctly and know what to look for, you can get massive savings (like 50-90% off).
    • AmiAmi - This is one (if not the best, but that is subjective) resources for basically any merchandise relating to anime, from posters and wall art to keychains and figurines.
    • Tokyo Otaku Mode - A great place for beginners. Sometimes it's rather daunting to browse other sites, but I recommend Tokyo Otaku Mode for beginners, because it has a relatively wide selection of well-known animes/mangas, and is not too expensive. However, I think that other sites will offer better deals and wider selections, but you might have to dig.
    • Mandarake - Mandarake is one of the most well-known otaku centers in Akihabara. I don't recommend this for beginners, but you can find great deals here (as well as great rip-offs).
    • Crunchyroll Store - I'm assuming most users of this site know what Crunchyroll is, but for those who don't, it's a great manga and anime streaming website. Their store sometimes has great deals, but you can almost always find all the merchandise in the Crunchyroll Store on the other online stores listed here. Sometimes it is easier to read for beginners, because the website is entirely in English.
    • JBox - Another great site that is more well-known for their novelty items for around the house. If you are looking for adult merchandise, try their 18+ counterpart, J-List.
    • akadot - More for manga in Japanese only, but great if you speak Japanese.
    • Hobby Link Japan (HLJ) - Great if you're into figurine collecting or if you like models (especially mecha).
    • Yesasia - Great for more serious collectors, and they also sell Chinese and Korean goods. You can use this site to find harder to obtain merchandise, but it tends to be a little more expensive.
    • Amazon - A bit generic, but excellent prices if you can find what you want (good luck).
    • Ebay - When in doubt, there's always a chance that someone is selling your desired item used on Ebay, but similar to Amazon, it's a bit generic and has a lesser selection. Don't be afraid to dig, you may find a few diamonds in the rough!
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    This answer is a great list of resources, but the question is not asking for this, rather somewhere/way where this would be discussed/exchanged. – Matt Aug 11 '16 at 8:34
  • @Matt "Where is the Go To place for most fans to share info about anime/manga merchandise that is currently for sale?" I edited the first paragraph to answer the question more, but the OP's question here asks about places to go to share info about merchandise that is currently for sale. All of these websites relate to that question, as do local stores in Japan and individual events like Comic-Con. See most recent edit. – wcarhart Aug 11 '16 at 8:37
  • Thanks for taking a stab at this. My main question is “the main websites and forums where fans exchange info about where online to buy" collectibles. On the old MLs, fans gave heads-ups like "I'm pruning my collection so I’m selling __” or "Just saw __ for sale on Mandarake, grab it now if you've been hunting for it" or "I've had a great experience with these shops” or "My trade list is here" or "I have ___ up on auction right now." This answer provides 1 forum; I took a look at MAL but didn't find a thread on advice for where to buy Japanese collectibles. Where is that area of the forum? – seijitsu Aug 18 '16 at 2:03
  • Online shops aren’t places where fans exchange info about where to shop, so far as I'm aware (or please direct me to such threads if you know of some). I live in Japan and have shopped at Mandarake, Nakano Broadway, Akihabara, Animate, etc. but fans don't exchange info in Japanese stores - they shop very quietly. Fans share info at cons/events, which could answer the secondary question “Where is the Go To place for most fans to share info . . . ?" but I think in order for it to be answering the main question, are you saying that the Go To place is cons rather than any website or forum? – seijitsu Aug 18 '16 at 2:03

protected by Logan M Jun 23 '18 at 18:41

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