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I've been meaning to make a page / guide about this for a while. Just to help out readers who comes here for the Vocaloid Album section or something. I've bought albums and doujins (but mostly artbooks/doujins) before, so I think I know what I'm doing. Not sure if this should be a tutorial page like Vocaloid Lingo or a blog though. I guess I'll decide later.
In this case, let's say you're outside of Japan.
Let's say you want to order a popular P album, or Exit Tunes' compilation. If it supports international shipping, odds are the order will be available in either Amazon, or Alice-books. Usually Amazon and Alice Books support international shipping. It's not that hard, ordering from Amazon (unless you're still, um, young, and so you need a parent's permission, obviously.)
Amazon is real easy and simple. All you need to do is press the next button. Stating the utmost obvious here, of course a card is necessary to buy your goods. Also, consider the shipping prices as well, and the weigh of the album/good you want to buy. The weigh and the shipping prices matter.
If your oders are a novel / artbook / manga and is available from Amazon, you can also order it through bookstores like Kinokuniya. They'll accept your order, add some charges to your purchase, and all you need to do is wait. I used to do that but the charges they add is really... Big.
Ordering goods available only in Japan
Oh, what's that? Your favorite producer isn't notable enough and so KarenT could never license them, and international shipping is far impossible? It's available in Toranoana or Melon Books and it doesn't support international shipping? I see this problem from time to time, but there's a simple solution to it. Group orders.
What is "group orders"?
It's where you order in groups Sometimes kind, generous, people would post up ads saying something like "GROUP ORDER OPEN: JUNE 27 -> JULY 1". The site I usually go to is LiveJournal, and there are tons of kind, generous, people there who post ads like those. Basically in group orders, you can order the goods you want from Toranoana / Melon Books, etc. Here are some steps.
- Look for some kind, generous people. I usually go here.
- Be sure to pick your goods before you contact the kind, generous, person.
- That done, read through the conditions in the ad. Usually it'd be about the payments, or to "where" does the person ship. It varies per person; so read it on your own.
- If you're unsure / too lazy to calculate the fee, ask them the total. Here's how the "system" usually goes: The good in toranoana -> To the kind generous person's house -> To your house. You have to pay the ship/payment from toranoana to "that" person, and the payment to "that" person, to your house.
- Payments are usually made with Paypal. Paypals have their own fees, (Called Paypal fees, it's around $1 or so)
- Wait patiently until your order comes.
- Don't forget to say thank you. >:)
Several songs/albums are available for purchase in sites like Amazon mp3, iTunes, or my favorite, HearJapan. A special note for iTunes, depending on your region, you may need a "gift card", and that cost around... $50? I'll look into it later. HearJapan on the other hand, doesn't need any of those extra charges. All you need to do is download. They even have a special category for Vocaloid songs! Thus why HearJapan is my favorite.
Your best friend aside from money in your pocket, is KarenT. Pretty much all the albums labeled/licensed by KarenT are available in those 3 sites. Some may be singles, some may be full albums. The thing with KarenT is, only several producers are chosen to be licensed there. KarenT's rather active, so that's good. Within a month there could be around 10 albums or so licensed. And in the Cryptonloids + Gumi and Gakupo's birthday, there'd be a bunch load of albums released that day.
This is just an extra. Though usually there are people who only sell their albums/works in events, and NOT put them in sites like Amazon/Toranoana/etc. In this case, your only hope is if you know someone from Japan to get it for you ^_^ Here is the list of some common events for Vocaloid albums/works.
- Comiket: Held twice every year. The Summer Comiket, and Winter Comiket. There are mostly doujins here, not much albums. Comiket isn't a Vocaloid only event, but there are a number of Vocaloid works there.
- VOC@LOID M@STER, VOCALOID PARADISE, Vocaloid Fantasia: A Vocaloid only event, unlike Comiket which doesn't focus much on Vocaloid works, these events are "Vocaloids only event". There are other "-only events" and the ones I know are "Kagamine only events". KagaPero, KAGAMINE PARADISE, KG48. Correct me if I'm wrong but I've never heard of other -insert Vocaloid here- only event other than the Kagamines.
- UTAU M@STER: UTAU only events. VOC@LOID M@STER's sister.
- COMITIA: Similar to Comiket, though not much Vocaloid works.
- Anime Expo: Depending on which expo, sometimes circles like Garaw Artworks distribute doujins like Suzunosuke's works, kokuto_yuki's works, CHANXCO's works.
- TBA if I can think of anything else Vocaloid related.