Importing Japanese Accessible Game Controllers: Buyee

Image of a HORI Separate controller advert in Japanese. Yahoo's Japanese Auction site is the eBay of Japan, and a fertile source of obscure controllers. It's the place that I first discovered the HORI Separate controller pictured above, and my first port of call when trying to track down the super-rare ASCII Grip V2 controllers.

So, in the spirit of sharing, this is my advice for those wanting to track down rare Japanese accessible controllers:

2017 Update: Try Buyee: ASCII Grip V2, HORI Separate Controller and HORI SRWC. This offers an alternative to the system I've long used below.

1. Install Google's web browser toolbar, then enable the "Translate" tool. This will help you to get a rough translation of auction item quality in English-ish.
2. Set up a PayPal account.
3. Set up a Japanese Auction Agency (JAA) account. JAA will bid on items on your behalf, deal with the seller, receive the item, the repackage and send to your address. I highly recommend this helpful and professional company.
4. Have a mooch around Yahoo Auctions Japan. Copy and paste the following Kanji into the Yahoo Auctions search text box to further assist: Ascii/Sammy Grip V2 (グリップV2); HORI Super Robot Wars (スーパーロボット大戦コントローラ); HORI Separate Controller (セパレートコントローラ); HORI Fighting Stick (ファイティングスティック). Alternatively you may find stuff on your local Amazon.
5. If you find something you like, and can afford (use http://www.xe.com/ for a currency conversion) go back to your JAA account, make a deposit, then carefully step through their auction buying service.

Bare in mind that a lot of Japanese sellers seem to go for short auctions of 3 to 5 days, so check regularly if you are keen. Also take into account any additional customs charges you may incur if the item is expensive. Good luck!

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