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A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

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  • A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

    The recent surge in interest in JacksonStars models has also resulted in a surge of those JCFers who are in Japan, or may be located in Japan, or who know where Japan is, or who own JacksonStars models being flooded with PMs and emails requesting help or advice with ordering from Japan.

    While it's idyllic to believe that you were the first person to get the bright idea to ask a JCFer in Japan to help you out, truth is, you were not the first person, and you probably won't be the last person.

    It's also idyllic to believe that people in Japan have nothing better to do than walk you through buying from a store in Japan via various methods, or to rush out to the store and buy such and such on your behalf and all will be well.

    Fact is, they do have lives too.

    Imagine someone in Japan asking you to buy them the latest Seinfeld Season X DVD set because they're getting them a year or more late over there.
    While it's almost no trouble if you work at Wal Mart, chances are pretty good they do not work in a music store, and therefore have to make a "special trip" to do this for you, or otherwise have to make some sort of convoluted arrangement to get it done.

    In other words, please do not flood our fellow members with such requests. I'm sure everyone understands the desire for a JacksonStars model (I know I do - I've got 2 and am always drooling over the others [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] ) but please be considerate and put yourself in their shoes before you send them a PM or email.

    Now, as for me personally, I do get asked often how I got mine.

    The first one I got a couple of years ago through an Ebayer to whom I had previously sold a Pedulla 5-string bass to. I saw the model I wanted listed as current stock at an online site of a top Japanese music store - - and asked if he was anywhere near a store that had this model (since he lived physically in Tokyo, not out in the 'burbs), and he replied that he had found said model locally.
    I offered to send him the money via PayPal (since he had a PayPal account) for the guitar, the cost of a hard shell case (JacksonStars models only come with a gigbag), shipping to America (roughly $130 + or - ), AND (here's the important part) all sales tax and other fees, as well as compensation ($$) for his time and help.

    He agreed to this deal, and I sent him the total amount once everything was calculated. He voluntarily sent me copies of the receipts to show he was being honest about the costs of everything - sales receipts, shipping charges, etc.

    The second one I got through someone who has asked to remain anonymous because of the concerns over flooding they are surely getting anyway (but hopefully not).

    I posted a request for help in the General Discussion section (at the bottom, not the General J/C Talk at the top), and made an offer in return for help in the deal. I didn't PM anyone asking for help (though I did pop one off later about another one, but felt it was inappropriate of me to take advantage fo someone's good will that way - plus I was in debt up to my eyeballs and didn't really need to spend any more [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] ).
    I posted a public request, and the details were hammered out in private, and the deal went down via email to keep it off the board entirely.

    However, the key element in both situations was that I had some previous history with both of the people who assisted me.
    I was not "just some guy off the street".
    Another key element was that I always left them the option to decline if it was more effort than they were willing to expend.

    Heck, I been trying to get to the Post Office for a week and a half and find it impossible due to my work schedule [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

    Lacking such an "advantage", I would suggest that anyone who is seriously interested in obtaining a guitar from Japan begin by reading up on Bank Transfers and how they work (maybe one of our German or Japanese members can shed some light on this?)

    I would also recommend for the dealer as they do ship internationally - for now. It is my great concern that if the JacksonStars models get too popular around here, FMIC or JCMI might pull a string or two with Ikebbe-Gakki to get them to stop exporting them.

    However, until that day arrives, I would seriously learn as much as I could about Bank Transfers - talk to your bank about it if you want, I'm sure they will be glad to help even with general info.
    I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

    The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

    My Blog:

  • #2
    Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

    I'll keep my source to myself also,for the same reason that they don't get tons of e-mails.
    I ran into mine by dealings I had with him on some charvel guitars.


    • #3
      Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

      You can also order through Ishibashi in Japan, and they take credit cards.

      I suppose that FMIC could get angry about all of this, but maybe instead of doing that they should look at the lengths people are willing to go to get their hands on some of that JacksonStars goodness. Is it really that difficult to make some of them with a regular Jackson logo and ship 'em over here? Fact is, the lower end Stars neckthrus with the rosewood boards are the exact thing that is missing from the company's USA catalog.


      • #4
        Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

        Also the one humbuckered Rhoads models.


        • #5
          Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

          I would like to see more 1 Hum models in general as I only use the bridge humbucker!! Good stuff NEWC. Jack.


          • #6
            Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

            I would love to get one, but I don't know anyone to ship from, plus theres none on there anymore that really interest me in my price range. (anymore.. ones I liked were sold)


            • #7
              Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

              Yes, if you're serious about getting a standard Jackson Stars, just e-mail ishibashi, period.


              • #8
                Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                Thanks to a helpful and anonymous friend for this info, which he has given me permission to post. It's a great insight into Japanese culture vs American culture IMO.

                [ QUOTE ]

                Japan is predominantly a cash society. The only thing you purchase on long term credit is your home. Cars as well, are purchased with cash. Although we do have shady loan companies with criminally high interest rates for the desperate and the foolish.

                We also don't have the same banking sysytem, of course. Even our credit cards have only 2 payment options: pay the balance at months end, or spread it out over 3 months. There is no revolving compounded interest system.

                So without a PayPal type of system, a sale is impossible. Many on-line purchases come COD.

                Banks don't want to take foreign money orders. Three years ago, a friend for some strange reason got a $50 money order, drawn from an affiliated bank as a Christmas gift. It took 2 hours and tons of confusion at the bank to get it cashed. The net was equal to $18.00 after fees.

                In addition, many sellers offer a 7 day trial period to ensure satisfaction and good feedback. A refund would be difficult with shipping fees being high. Would the North American buyer expect the seller to go to a bank or post office and purchase cash to discretely and dangerously mail overseas as compensation? Or more difficult, having to fill out a money order in English. This would be another hinderance.

                Even if you could have someone help you with a purchase on a Yahoo Japan Auction, the fear of negative feedback from an outsider also makes dealing with foreigners too risky.

                Even though our banks currently do not pay balance holders interest and a few top management officials at Japanese banks have commited public suicide in the past few years, due to thier banks losses or demise, Japanese people tend to only trust Japanese banks and Japanese currency. Therefore, if at all possible, cash must be used. For high ticket items, the purchaser knows the cost before hand and passes the money discretely to the sales staff. This in turn, is counted out of site of prying eyes.

                So, no Paypal, no money order, no English, no dice.

                That leaves the retailer. A large company such as Ishibashi can use the foreign capital to buy more store stock without having to lose money in the exchange. They have built relationships with the person who takes care of their foreign shipping, so there is no stress.

                Smaller retailers have had to deal with irate, overzealous foreign customers that haven't reecived their guitars when expected. The shop owner has no answer for the customer, as the guitar has been shipped and the customer has the tracking number. The shop owner is berated, loses face and is soured from sending again to North America. It only takes one uncomfortable experience for many Japanese to close the door on something. Everything must have the appearance of running smoothly.

                There is a set price in Japan for most gear - 20% below list. You will not get a better price at another shop. What you do get is cut rate or free service on your gear to keep you as a customer. Of course, this will not help foreign buyers.

                A simple North American-style, 'What, you can't do any better on the price? At least throw in a strap and a few packs of strings', would put the Japanese staff member in an uncomfortable situation. This is a bad thing.

                Many shops will ship to America by 'Kuro Neko' (Black Cat couriers). Going to the post office, leaving the store shorthanded , or having to close the shop is not feasible. The profit is also too low to go beyond normal effort for an unkown, possible one time only buyer. Of course the post office is cheaper-for you.

                The sale must be smooth, easy, without much extra effort and trouble free. Otherwise, it is better to wait for a buyer that can make the above criterium.

                [/ QUOTE ]

                Thanks again for that info [img]/images/graemlins/toast.gif[/img]

                Now, American culture on the other hand is an inverse-image of the above:
                We deal in credit or ATM (debit) cards.
                Cash is for people who don't make enough money to open a bank account, or who do not have enough money for any length of time to sustain a bank account, or who live paycheck to paycheck and all their money goes out for bills and whatnot as soon as it comes in, so a bank account is pointless for them.
                Cash is also for those who have poor credit and therefore can't get a credit card (usually assumed to be because they don't have a stable enough work record to qualify for a credit card, with or without soemone to co-sign the application).
                Lastly, you have people who do not trust banks, so they keep their cash to themselves. These are the ones you hear about being killed by a robber in their house for the $200 in their wallet but the guy missed the $30K stuffed in the mattress.

                Money Orders are a pain in the butt for a lot of people, mostly because Post Offices and the people in them suck. Long lines, irregular operating hours, and the ever-present fear of soemone "going Postal".
                Not to mention every one I've ever been in is not exactly in a "nice" neighborhood, so the fear of being accosted by some crackhead outweighs the desire to partake of their services.

                Western Union money orders are almost as good as Postal Money Orders, and Western Union even has online options for sending them. Unfortunately, their BidPay service was only for Ebay-related payments, and also unfortunately, that service was bought out by another company who was not ready to roll with it, so the site's down.

                As well, Western Union's primary online site only features BillPay services (where you send money from your bank account to your phone or utility company), or the Money In Minutes service you see in commercials, where the recipient has to be at the local office to receive the money. There was at one time an option to send someone a Money Order in the mail from the site, but apparently that is long gone.

                Cashier's Checks come from a bank. Bank Transfers are also handled at the bank.
                Going to the bank for most people is a pain. So much so, that many people have their paychecks directly deposited into their accounts by their employer.

                In the Land Of The Drive-Thru Service And Home Delivery, "we" simply do not have time to stand in line at a bank or post office. There's a million other things we can be doing while we're waiting in line, so we tend to cling to any convenience that comes by - from microwave meals to online payment options, we want it faster and easier.

                This leads to a staggering conflict with other cultures when we try to buy from Japan. Our fear and trepidation about going to the bank to conduct a wire transfer is also compounded by the "African Email Scam" situation.

                But a little knowledge yields a lot of power, so it would be worth your while to go to the bank and ask about bank-to-bank wire tranfers for overseas purchases, and ask what type of security there is.
                I think you'll find that it's a lot safer than PayPal.
                I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

                The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

                My Blog:


                • #9
                  Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                  That's very informative. Thanks, Newc. It's kind of funny that the same person in the USA who would never bid on an eBay auction from Asia or Eastern Europe for fear of fraud also expects retailers in Asia to take a PayPal payment without complaint. Works the same both ways, doesn't it?


                  • #10
                    Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                    Or the person who won't accept bids from those countries because of the shipping hassle (customs forms, etc) thinks its easy for someone else.
                    I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

                    The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

                    My Blog:


                    • #11
                      Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                      JCF member living in Japan here-

                      As Orchid posted, it would be best to get ahold of a dealer if you want to order a guitar.

                      Ishibashi: [email protected]
                      Ikebe: [email protected]

                      However, if you come to Tokyo, I will gladly give you a guided tour of Ochanomizu and help you haggle in Japanese (if you buy me lunch and/or a beer [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] ).
                      Until you get weaned off the boobie, you are going to have to do what the wife wants too. -Rsmacker


                      • #12
                        Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                        Isn't lunch about 80 bucks? [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
                        "Quiet, numbskulls, I'm broadcasting!" -Moe Howard, "Micro-Phonies" (1945)


                        • #13
                          Re: A note about JacksonStars and Japanese JCFers

                          This past weekend I gave a "haggling" tour of Ochanomizu to a JCF member. Afterwards, he treated me to a $10 lunch and a $4 beer. [img]/images/graemlins/toast.gif[/img]

                          We managed to haggle a beautiful trans blue quilt Jacksonstars ASL-J1 down to 168000yen ($1440) from the 200000yen ($1710) price tag. He ended up not pulling the trigger on that one. Had I not promised my wife that I would only buy strings that day, I would have jumped on it at that price myself.
                          Until you get weaned off the boobie, you are going to have to do what the wife wants too. -Rsmacker